Organization Records Number of Homeless in Several Counties - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Organization Records Number of Homeless in Several Counties

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(Photo: MGN) (Photo: MGN)

SALISBURY, Md. -- An organization working on poverty issues conducted its yearly evaluation of the number of homeless individuals on Delmarva.

Groups of volunteers recorded the number of the homeless people throughout Wicomico, Worcester and Somerset county to figure out what kind of housing and special services are still needed in the community.

The Homeless Alliance for the Lower Shore Continuum of Care committee keeps track of the number of homeless people to identify trends and how widespread the issue is around the country.

During the last 10 days in January, volunteers spend hours doing "Point-in-Time" counts, a snapshot of the homeless population on a given night.

The count is required by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development in order to receive funds for programs and services that address homelessness.

Through an electronic database called the Homeless Management Information System, information is gathered on the characteristics and service needs of the homeless.

At the HALO Center of Hope in Salisbury, those without food or shelter for the evening lined up outside waiting for the cafeteria doors to open.

Inside volunteers asked the crowd to fill out the survey if they self-identified as homeless.

Homeless, by the CoC's definition, means one who lives in a homeless shelter, transitional housing, motel, or in a place not designed to live in, such as a car, park or camping ground.

A single mother currently living at the HALO sanctuary said the Journey of Hope program helps she and her 15-month old daughter Avalyn through tough times.

"My daughter took her first steps here so it's teaching her a lot," said 21-year old Brianna Thresher. "They help me get day care set up for her."

As an incentive for participation, each individual received a drawstring backpack containing a $10 gift card for Family Dollar or Dollar General stores, a personal hygiene kit and resource information.

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