COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A week-long annual census count of the homeless in Muscogee County started Tuesday. every year in the last week in January, volunteers take the count in order to help build a unified community.
Home for Good and the United Way are on a 10-year plan to end homelessness in Columbus. On Tuesday Jan. 27, they took steps to find out what's needed to make that plan happen.
"I'm trying to make a bunch of improvements, I'm trying to make improvements for my career, my life and my education," said George Gordon.
Gordon is just one of the many people at Safe Haven, participating in a homeless census count for the city of Columbus. Gordon came to Columbus from Atlanta for a new job that didn't work out, and he's been homeless for the past eight months.
"This will give me a starting point to where I need to go, other than that then I have to find other resources," said Gordon.
Home for Good under the United Way works together once a year, canvassing the streets and shelters counting those without permanent housing. Those people are asked to come into various locations for a survey.
"It really is to gauge how many people were sleeping unsheltered, if that was in the street, in the parks, in their car, or how many people were staying in emergency shelters," said Christy Bevis, Executive Director for Home for Good.
Bevis explains they will use the survey to help improve housing and employment for the homeless.
"The Muscogee County and the consolidated government is very considerate to the plight of the homeless," said Scotty Sherman.
Gordon says it's volunteers and services likes today that will help get him back to his regular life.
"I had went to school got a good education and hard times fell, like it does everyone else. You never know, you can be up today and down tomorrow," said Gordon.
Home for Good says they're also apart of a national initiative called 2016.
"We really want to be able to step up our housing efforts and support services for our veterans who have experienced homelessness. That we will functionally end homelessness by 2016. There were 70 community selected nationwide and Columbus was one of those 70 and the only in the state of Georgia," said Bevis.
Volunteers from various agencies will be back out Wednesday morning starting at 6:30 a.m. to continue counting those without permanent homes.