GENESEE COUNTY — Local volunteers will be performing the annual Point in Time Count, an effort to count those who are homeless in Flint and Genesee County starting on Wednesday, January 28, according to a press release from Metro Community Development.
Reportedly, last year more than 2500 people in Genesee County were homeless and nearly 30 percent of homeless adults had minor children.
The count will include three phases conducted over a five-day period. During the first phase agency staff will count individuals staying at emergency shelters in Genesee County on the night of Wednesday, January 28.
During phase two, volunteers will be performing a street outreach throughout Genesee County seeking individuals staying in places unfit for human habitation.
The final phase consists of volunteers manning and canvassing various county sites and events to count homeless individuals receiving services at those sites.
Organizers will then use computer based data duplication techniques to identify individuals who may have been counted more than once.
Data collected from the Point in Time Count is used to assess the needs of the local homeless population. The data is also used in grant applications seeking funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), a process that brings in millions of dollars annually for homeless assistance programs in Genesee County.
The Point in Time Count is coordinated by the Genesee County Continuum of Care – a collaborative group of agencies working together to address homelessness in our area.
There are two ways the public can help with this effort:
• Donate personal items such as hats, gloves, scarves, socks, hand warmers, snacks, toothbrushes, deodorant, feminine hygiene products, and more for basic needs bags distributed to homeless individuals during the Count (or make a financial contribution to help with these items).
• Sign up to volunteer. There are many ways to get involved and training is provided.
For more information, please contact Marcus Whetstone at Metro Community Development., according to its web site at metro-community.org/ — R.S.