Local Continuum of Care to conduct homelessness count Tuesday

The Continuum of Care for Baxter, Marion, Boone and Newton Counties will carry out a Point in Time (PIT) count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless individuals in the area on Tuesday. The Continuum of Care is a program from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) designed to promote community-wide commitment to the goal of ending homelessness, and the local program's PIT count is required by HUD.

Unsheltered homeless persons for the purposes of the PIT count are those living in a place not designed or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for humans including a street or sidewalk, a vehicle, a public park, an abandoned building, a bus or train station, an airport, under a bridge or overpass, the woods or an outdoor encampment. The count will not include individuals staying in an emergency shelter, transitional housing, a hotel or motel, a house, an apartment, a jail, a hospital or a treatment program.

Anyone encountering a homeless person on Tuesday can participate in gathering data by calling the center staffed by the Food Bank of North Central Arkansas from 8:00 to 4:00 at 870-499-7565. Unsheltered homeless surveys and observational homeless surveys are also available online courtesy of Survey Monkey, or paper surveys can be printed, manually completed and forwarded to Harley Thompson at Ozark Opportunities, Inc.

Shelters providing overnight services for homeless individuals and domestic violence victims should print the Housing Inventory Count form to gather data regarding the number of beds available, the occupancy rate and limited demographic information. That form should also be sent to Thompson.

For more information, contact Thompson at 870-715-8485 or hthompson@ozarkopp.org.

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