2018 survey to count the homeless in Columbus; provide them with resources

Updated: Jan. 22, 2018 at 3:20 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  Employees and volunteers with Home for Good and United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley are getting ready to visit the city's homeless shelters.

This is part It's part of the annual Point-In-Time Count, a survey which collects information on how many homeless people there are in Muscogee and Russell Counties, including their respective demographics.

The survey started in 2009, as a requirement from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Over the years, this effort has turned into a week-long focus on homelessness across the city, and the country.

Volunteers and community partners have gathered supplies they plan to distribute out to people at local shelters Monday afternoon. At each shelter, survey workers hope to talk to anyone who doesn't have a permanent home and find out what resources they need to start getting a stable life together.

Home for Good's Executive Director, Pat Frey, said over the past 9 years, her team has noticed several trends among the homeless population in the bi-city area.

"We've seen a 24 percent decrease in just the past five years," Frey said, "but we have seen an uptick in the number of families, who are at risk of homelessness or are experiencing actual homelessness."

On Tuesday morning, Home for Good volunteers will spread out in teams across Muscogee and Russell counties, to areas where the homeless usually gather and approach them to find out how many do not frequently go to a shelter, and learn what resources they need.

Frey said there are more events scheduled to help connect the homeless to useful job, education and healthcare offerings.

On Wednesday, volunteers will host a job fair at the Chuck Roberts Activity Center in Phenix City.

Friday, as part of Project Homeless Connect 2018, anyone can come to the Open Door House on 2nd Avenue to find out more about educational and healthcare resources they can use.

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