February 19, 2018

Eight,000 volunteers counting homeless in Los Angeles County

26 January 2018, 09:05 | Katie Chavez

Annual Count Of Homeless Takes Place Countywide

The homeless encampment at the Plaza of the Flags next to City Hall in Santa Ana last month

They talked to homeless people Thursday for the annual Point in Time count, a single-day census of the homeless population mandated by the state of Washington and the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Anderson estimates that once the coalition includes the count of homeless people staying in shelters, the number will be more than 100 non-duplicated individuals.

According to Texas Homeless Network Continuum of Care Manager Mary Rychlik, the nonprofit organization compiles the data collected and analyzes it.

Organizers tell us they counted 10 homeless people overnight, which is near the average number for January.

"The result is an economic boon to the community", Mansfield said. The collective goal of these organizations is to provide wraparound services that care for the whole person, and which address the individual issues that contribute to their homelessness.

"We try to understand what's happening in homelessness, talking to people directly in this crisis", said Kelly King Horne, Homeward's executive director, "What are their needs?" Volunteers also visit businesses open 24/7, train stations and bus stops, and other locations where people might seek shelter from the cold.

Lexington's count was Wednesday, and the remainder of the state will be surveyed on January 31.

Resue-Watts is working with McKee on finding a more permanent home, but in the meantime, she's a shelter guest.

"The count is also an educational tool for us", Wheeler said.

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A group of volunteers spent Wednesday night canvassing Lexington counting the city's homeless population. Beginning at the Lynchburg Community Market, Nolen and her two volunteers split off toward Percival's Island.

"We check for both the unsheltered and the sheltered", Ward said. However, that count isn't necessarily the most accurate when describing the homeless population today.

Volunteers surveyed dozens of homeless people who were going to have lunch at Feed My Sheep, a Texas faith-based ministry for the homeless and needy.

But after explaining to the couple what they're doing, they participated in the survey.

Although HUD designs the survey, local homelessness response systems can add additional questions.

This weekend the Texarkana Homeless Coalition is hosting its annual Bridge City Project.

But there's no shortage of people willing to count.

The 2017 survey counted 1,368 people experiencing homelessness in Oklahoma City.

"What we want young folks to know is that we see you", said Knoxville-Knox County Homeless Coalition volunteer Lisa Higginbotham.

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