The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

January 28, 2013

Organizations prepare for homeless count


Monday, January 28, 2013 — Homes of Hope, Inc., social services and health and human service agencies and volunteers will count the sheltered and unsheltered homeless individuals and families living in Stanly County.  

Homes of Hope is a United Way Agency, and a partnership of Stanly County churches, social service agencies and health and human services organizations providing short-term transitional housing and services for temporarily homeless men, women and children.  

In 2012, HOH, Inc. served more than 275 homeless individuals through its three programs: transitional housing, Community Inn emergency housing and Esther House domestic violence shelter.

Since 2003, The Point-In-Time (PIT) count has been a national effort through the office of the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to get a snapshot of who the sheltered and unsheltered homeless are and the number of homeless men, women and children in the U.S.

Since 2006, as a member of the Piedmont Regional Continuum of Care, which is a regional committee of the Balance of State Continuum of Care, Stanly County has participated in the count.  

Beginning at 6 p.m. Jan. 30 and ending at 6 p.m. the next day, Homes of Hope, its partner agencies and volunteers will begin the count around the county.  

Homes of Hope, its partner agencies and PIT volunteers will be stationed strategically around the county in places where the unsheltered homeless will be directed to come through fliers that will handed out by volunteers or posted throughout the county leading up to the count in places such as The Community Table in Albemarle and Norwood.  

Each person will be asked to complete a simple survey anonymously. All information is confidential.  Refreshments and incentives will be available in appreciation for information provided.  

The Point in Time Count is intended to provide a 24-hour snapshot of a county’s homeless population. The Point in Time Count is one way to collectively understand the scope and breadth of homelessness in our nation and our individual communities.

The count is an effort to make sure the voices of people experiencing homelessness in the community are heard and efforts are made to provide appropriate services. With a population of approximately 60,000 people, Stanly County is a small, rural county compared to other regions in our state. However, there is a lack of low-income housing and housing programs for individuals with disabilities, and homeless programs are not receiving adequate funding to meet the needs in the Stanly County community.

“The homeless count is used by North Carolina to apply for federal funds designated to end homelessness through the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act which was first passed and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1987,” said Skeet Asycue, director of Homes of Hope.

“Those funds come into Stanly County through the Emergency Solutions Grants administered through Homes of Hope and through the Super NOFA grants administered by Community Link.  

“The better job we do in counting the homeless, the more leverage North Carolina has in applying for those funds. It also gives us a good picture of our local situation and some indications of what areas need the most attention.”

For more info, contact Diane M. McClinton, director of emergency housing, at The Community Inn at (704) 984-6454.