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Homelessness Awareness

Notice: This eLearning course utilizes video to convey the learning content. As such, please ensure that you have audio capabilities, either speakers through your computer, or headphones if you are listening in a public area.


Content Provider:
Vancouver Police Department


1.5 hours

Release Date
September 2023

Registration Process Register

The Homelessness Awareness course is an online course designed for employees of the Vancouver Police Department (VPD). This online course will provide information about persons that are at greater risk of experiencing homelessness, contributors to homelessness, how homelessness is experienced in Vancouver, and the role and authorities of VPD police officers when working in communities experiencing homelessness. It will also review the impact on first responders and identify available support to VPD officers.

When you have completed this course you will be able to:

  • Discuss the definition of homelessness.
  • Describe factors that contribute to homelessness.
  • Acknowledge the impact of stigma on those experiencing homelessness.
  • Discuss the concept of the criminalization of homelessness.
  • Consider factors that contribute to Indigenous homelessness.
  • Identify factors associated with youth homelessness.
  • Consider the challenges associated with 2SLGBTQ+ persons experiencing homelessness.
  • Describe concerns associated with seniors experiencing homelessness.
  • Develop an awareness of the prevalence of health conditions amongst those experiencing homelessness.
  • Identify factors that lead to the creation and maintenance of encampments.
  • Identify the roles and responsibilities of VPD officers when working in communities with persons experiencing homelessness.
  • Identify when a police officer has the authority to arrest an individual without a warrant according to the Safe Streets Act (2004).
  • Identify the roles of VPD officers when enforcing the Trespass Act (2018).
  • Identify the responsibilities of VPD officers in relation to the Assistance to Shelter Act (2009).
  • Identify the role of VPD officers related to enforcement of civil injunctions.
  • Identify the role of VPD officers when an encampment is set-up in a Vancouver Park.
  • Develop an awareness of community service providers with supports available to those experiencing homelessness.
  • Acknowledge the impact of working with persons experiencing homelessness on first responders.

Target Audience

Sworn Police, Police Services, Student, Government and Other First Responders, Private Security

Content Provider

Content for this course was provided and developed by the Vancouver Police Department.