MONTGOMERY COUNTY — Montgomery County conducted an unprotected homeless “Point-in-Time (PIT) count” Thursday morning.
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Volunteers gathered at the St. Vincent de Paul Shelter for Women and Families at 3:30 a.m. before disbanding to investigate the homeless problem across the county.
Officials have conducted counts over the years to quantify the homeless problem and connect those in need to county resources, a department spokeswoman said.
“No one should have to sleep on the street. No one should be denied the basic right to have affordable shelter,” said Commissioner Carolyn Rice. “The point-in-time count is essential to getting a complete picture of the homeless problem, assessing ongoing efforts, and being able to brainstorm new solutions.”
“It’s an opportunity for people who may not have been visible and involved in our outreach teams to initiate that engagement process, follow up, and make connections with shelters and housing.” said the Montgomery County Homeless. Solutions Program Coordinator Kathleen Shanahan said:
According to a spokeswoman, 570 people were living in emergency shelters or on the streets at one night’s count last year. About 530 of them, or 93%, were sleeping in emergency shelters.
News Center 7 reporter Xavier Hershowitz reported on what the event looked like, but volunteers were not allowed on board with them to protect the privacy and location of the individuals counted.
Volunteers surveyed places where people were known to sleep in cars, wooded areas or in abandoned buildings, the spokesperson said. The survey was also conducted on food and service sites.
Results will be announced in March.
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