Point In Time Count January 31 Documents Extent Of Homelessness

The Western Pennsylvania Continuum of Care comprises Clearfield, Jefferson, Elk and 17 other counties and a year ago reported a total homeless population of 837.

Noble and Foster were among at least 60 homeless youth - age 18 to 24 - counted and surveyed Wednesday morning during the 2018 Northeast Florida Point in Time count led by Changing Homelessness. The count also will be used by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to apportion homelessness funds. Each year, Jacqueline Long, Mountain Comprehensive Care Center's Director of Housing and Grants, provides guidance for the K-Count within the Big Sandy region.

Organizations and agencies in the area that work to end homelessness conduct the local counts.

In addition to counting, volunteers gave out goodie bags and offered the homeless rides to shelters.

Those to be counted include the homeless, people living in shelters or transitional housing, and unsheltered living in places not meant for human habitation.

The city of Los Angeles had the largest share, with 34,189 people homeless on a given night.

"It's hard because it's a visual count, and you're driving, you're not walking, and a lot of people are well hidden", said Bridge to Home Director of Programs Chris Najarro. That was 409 people fewer than in 2016. "Some people come in to stay and they have beds, and other people come in just to eat". "However, there are still thousands of our fellow New Jerseyans who do not have a home in the middle of winter".

"Our goal is to find nobody but we know we will find somebody", she said. They connect you with a counselor who helps you overcome emotional troubles, an agency that helps you discover monetary benefits that you did not realize you were eligible to receive, and a job skills training facility that helps you develop vital skills for specific jobs in your area. The count always happens in January because people who are homeless will be seeking shelter or some type of support during the coldest month of the year.

The volunteers explain to each person the survey is the basis of statistics and the counts impact the funding, programming and services made available to people in need, she said.

Officials said the data also helps determine where they need to focus their efforts.

  • Jon Douglas