United Way conducts Point-In-Time count to assess resources needed for homeless population

((Source: WTVM))
Updated: Jan. 23, 2019 at 6:43 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Home for Good through the United Way helps organize the Point-In-Time count for Muscogee and Russell counties each year.

The Point-In-Time count is a week dedicated to going out into the community where volunteers come together and count the homeless population to a feel for what resources are needed most.

“The services could be of course housing, but they are also all those other services, medical, mental health, counseling, and all the other things that everyone needs not only to obtain housing but to keep housing,”said Pat Frey with Home for Good United Way.

They got started Tuesday with more than 55 volunteers to count the number in shelters and on Wednesday, they counted the ones un-sheltered.

Organizers say short assessment surveys are a crucial part of the process, so referrals can be made.

“First off, it gives that personal touch to individuals experiencing homelessness. They are not an estimate, they are an individual that you actually went out to and completed a survey on and actually counted the individual almost like how we do the senses every 10 years. HUD counts homeless individuals every year,”said volunteer Susan Gallagher.

They first started the count in 2009 and since then, they have seen a 34 percent decrease in the homeless population.

The goal is to end homelessness and not encounter the same people next year.

“Sometimes it takes a little while. We can ask a person time after time and finally, someone says yes I’m ready to go into housing. So, sometimes it’s breaking down barriers too,” said Frey

The week wraps up with a resource fair called Project Homeless at Open Door Community House on Friday. The event will be open to the entire homeless population to find the help they need.

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