The issue of poverty in Prince George may be at an all-time high, according to St. Vincent de Paul Chair, Bernie Goold.

“I can honestly say we have never, ever seen so many people sleeping on the streets.”

Affordable housing continues to be a major factor. People living on the street do not receive a shelter allowance and Goold says unless you are in subsidized housing, there are no available places to rent under about $700 or $800 per month.

There is another concern growing in PG on top of affordable housing, however, it is not an easy subject to tackle.

“We see more and more mental health issues and, unfortunately, there is a lot of young people,” Goold explains.

“Many of the people that are sleeping around our building or in front of it, we would estimate they are under 25 [years old]. We just don’t seem to be able to put our finger on what the cause is and some people believe there are people coming from outlying areas to Prince George.”

With winter right around the corner, another fear is how everyone on the streets will be able to stay warm.

“We know as the weather gets colder, people cannot remain outside, otherwise I think we’ll be finding dead bodies when it gets 20- and 30-[degrees] below.”

Goold says finding a fix to the situation would benefit the whole community and make it safer for those on the streets, walking around, and business owners.