Volunteers sought for Jan. 22 homeless count

Local report

Volunteers are being sought to assist in a Jackson County homeless count on Monday, Jan. 22.

Every two years, during the last 10 days of January, there is a nationwide effort to count homeless people across the country. Teams of volunteers will go out on Jan. 22 in Jackson County to survey those on the street, in camps and areas where people are staying in their cars. There will also be surveys completed at various sites through the period of Jan. 22-27. This point-in-time (PIT) count attempts to capture people who are sheltered or unsheltered to provide a snapshot of homelessness in the United States.

Staff from homeless assistance agencies such as ACCESS, county and city employees and hundreds of volunteers across Oregon conduct a street count of the unsheltered population and collect data on the homeless population living in emergency shelters and transitional housing throughout the state. Along with the total number of sheltered and unsheltered homeless people, information is gathered on a wide range of characteristics of the homeless population, including age, gender, race, ethnicity, veteran status and disability status.

“One of the purposes of the count is to aid in funding for our community from Housing and Urban Development, but the main purpose is to gather data on people in Jackson County who are homeless so that we can better serve them,” George Jarvis, ACCESS homeless management information system specialist, said in a release. “Questions beyond those required by HUD are added for the purpose of aiding agencies in best supporting our community.”

People wishing to volunteer for the count are asked to call 541-690-3972.

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