The 2018 Nanaimo Point-in-Time Homeless Count finds the number of people experiencing homelessness in the city is rising dramatically.

The biannual survey carried out by the Nanaimo Homelessness Coalition on April 18th found that the minimum number of people experiencing absolute homelessness was 335.

That compares with 174 in the previous survey done in the winter of 2016.

“Although this figure is substantially higher than the previous PiT Count in 2016, it is entirely consistent with recent observations of Nanaimo social service agency workers and the local RCMP,” reads the report’s executive summary.

On the day of the count, 55 per cent of those who completed a survey were staying in public spaces, vehicles, makeshift shelters or in places not intended for permanent human habitation.

Almost one third did not know where they would be staying on that night.