For the eleventh straight year, the Central Oregon Homeless Leadership Coalition is conducting a one-day count of people who are struggling with homelessness. The count is part of a national effort to identify the number of people struggling to find appropriate and adequate housing.
This year’s count will be a departure from past year’s efforts. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires communities to count people living in shelters or supportive programs on even number years and conduct a more comprehensive count of the broader homeless population on odd number years.
“Since this annual effort began more than ten years ago, our Central Oregon community has elected to go above and beyond the basic requirements on those alternating years. We have made the extra effort each year to conduct surveys with individuals that are living in shelters, as well as individuals camping out, living on the streets and doubled-up with other families,” explained Bob Moore with the Homeless Leadership Coalition.
“A decision was made to bring our local efforts in line with the same process the rest of Oregon and the nation is using,” explained Don Senecal, co-chair of the Homeless Leadership Coalition. “This year we will only be counting people in shelters or supportive housing programs. Next year we will be conducting a more comprehensive count of the broader homeless population in Crook, Deschutes, Jefferson Counties and the Confederates Tribes of Warm Springs.”
As a result, this year there will be no ‘street count’ that identifies people living in weekly motels, ‘doubled-up’ with other families, camping, sleeping in cars, or in other places not designed for long-term habitation. This year’s count will be conducted by agencies that provide shelter beds and transitional housing. Those services are primarily available in Bend, Redmond, Prineville and Madras.
On Thursday, January 28, staff will be conducting confidential surveys for people living in those facilities. The information collected as a part of that effort will allow local agencies and programs to qualify for funding, better target support services, and develop plans to address poverty and homelessness in Central Oregon.
Bob Moore 541-815-3113 or firstname.lastname@example.org