Point-in-Time Homeless Count Scheduled for January 28th; 40 Counties Statewide to Participate
Topeka – January 16, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — Supporting a statewide alliance of government agencies, businesses and community organizations gearing up to count Kansas’ homeless population, Governor Kathleen Sebelius has proclaimed January “Everybody Counts!” Month. Sponsored by Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC) and the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS), the Point-in-Time Homeless Count will take place Wednesday, January 28th, 2009.
“This one-day snapshot will establish a baseline count of the number of people who are homeless in Kansas,” said Sebelius. “Once there is a better understanding of how many people are impacted, efforts can be tailored to help.”
United Way of the Plains will spearhead the count with the help of staff members, city and county officials, law enforcement officers, SRS workers, volunteers, even the homeless themselves.
“We want to talk with homeless individuals face to face,” said James Chiselom, KHRC’s Emergency Shelter Grant Program Manager. “We want to know how long they’ve been homeless, why they became homeless and if they are caring for children,” said Chiselom.
Volunteers in 40 counties across Kansas will survey homeless individuals who are staying in shelters or living in cars, abandoned buildings, under bridges, etc.
The results from this year’s study are expected to be released by the end of April.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) allocates grants to communities and local organizations that participate in homeless assistance planning programs, or what’s referred to as a Continuum of Care (CoC) network. Kansas has five CoC networks which provide services to the homeless across the state. HUD requires Point-in-Time counts for networks wishing to maintain and use federal funding.
Everybody Counts Month, page 2
Point-in-Time surveys are not scientific; however, they allow communities to look at the trends in the homeless population. Many surveys ask respondents questions about:
• where the individual stayed the night of the count
• the length of time spent homelessness
• the number of times they’ve been homeless
• the family’s size and if they are caring for children
• veteran’s status
• mental health, substance abuse or domestic violence issues
• HIV/AIDS related illnesses
Kansas Housing Resources Corporation administers the federally funded Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG) program for the State of Kansas. The ESG program is designed to be the first stage in a continuum of care to prevent homelessness and to enable homeless individuals to move toward independent living.
For more information, or if you would like to volunteer for the 2009 Point-in-Time Count, please contact KHRC’s James Chiselom at 785-296-7236 or Delane Butler of United Way at 316-267-1321. MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES: Reporters are welcome to interview volunteers and organizational leaders. They may also travel with the enumeration teams the day of the count. To schedule interviews, please contact Catherine Couch of KHRC at 758-296-0081 or email ccouch (at) kshousingcorp (dot) org.
Counties involved in the 2009 Kansas Statewide Point-In-Time Count include: Allen, Anderson, Barber, Barton, Bourbon, Brown, Butler, Cherokee, Clark, Cloud, Cowley, Crawford, Dickinson, Douglas, Ellis, Finney, Ford, Graham, Greenwood, Harvey, Jefferson, Johnson, Kiowa, Leavenworth, Lyon, Marshall, Miami, Montgomery, Pawnee, Phillips, Reno, Riley, Russell, Saline, Seward, Shawnee, Stanton, Thomas, Wyandotte.