Published: Fri, January 26, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Officials Conduct Annual Homeless Census In OKC

Officials Conduct Annual Homeless Census In OKC

In addition to shelters and soup kitchens, volunteers worked with police to locate homeless people, Gillespie said.

A count of homeless people in the valley took place overnight, as part of Clark County's annual homeless census. "So just like Celeste (Savage) was saying, both from a resources standpoint and the disaster response standpoint, we need to know how many people are outside", says Theo Williams, Salisbury's manager for housing and homelessness.

People came together Wednesday night to kick off the annual Point in Time homeless count.

At 3:30 a.m. Thursday, more than 80 volunteers bundled up and ventured out into the dark places of Oklahoma City that most citizens never see. 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.

The count's findings will be passed onto the Western Pennsylvania Continuum of Care and then to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

"I think the causes are pretty clear and explicit", said Peter Lynn, executive director of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the 2017 Point-in-Time Count showed a 4.6-percent drop in homeless men, women, and children in the state from the nearly 9,000 people in 2016. While almost one-third of the nation's homeless population was found to be present within California, homelessness is a devastating situation for every person that experiences it.

A group of volunteers spent Wednesday night canvassing Lexington counting the city's homeless population. That is when we tap the local (Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services.) If anyone is unsheltered and it is under 32 degrees, we contact law enforcement to get the individuals or families to a hotel or shelter.

Time count critical to homeless. With this collaborative interagency focus on your particular needs, it will be far more likely that you will soon be able to maintain housing for you and your family. Overall, there are about 350 people within the system, whether at emergency shelters or in transitional housing.

"Tonight, we've probably served over 100 plates of food", said Caroline Smith, a volunteer at the shelter.

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