VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Vancouver’s mayor says he remains committed to ending street homelessness by 2015, even though that goal has suffered a setback.

The latest homeless count in the city shows the number of people sleeping outside on any given night has nearly doubled compared to last year.

In late March, 306 street homeless were counted, compared to 154 in the spring of 2011.

Despite the setback, the overall number of homeless people, including those living in shelters, is relatively steady.

This spring, 1602 homeless people were counted overall, which is up from the 1581 counted last year.

“The Vancouver 2012 Homeless Count confirms that we’ve made strong progress in the last four years to tackle homelessness and that our low-barrier shelters have been incredibly effective, but much work remains to confront the challenge,” says Mayor Gregor Robertson.

“This year’s count shows that street homelessness is down 62 per cent since 2008 and that overall homelessness is down 6.6 per cent overall since 2010, when we finally turned the corner on a decade of rising homelessness in Vancouver.”

The homeless count found that three-quarters of the homeless are men and one-third identified as Aboriginal. The largest age group of unsheltered homeless is getting older, with 42 per cent over the age of 45.

Mark Townsend, a manager with Portland Hotel Society, says it’s not that the city isn’t doing enough to help. He stresses that it takes years to get housing built and in that time, the     number of homelessness will continue to rise.

“If you don’t maintain your infrastructure, whether it’s the roads or the sewers or the lighting and in this case, it’s the whether it’s the housing for those in lower paid jobs or those with chronic mental illnessess, you end up with a problem,” he explains.