Friday, January 16, 2015

Counting the Homeless in Darke Co.

Pictured is a local bridge where a homeless person has been seeking shelter.
January 27th is the date set for the Point-In-Time study of a twenty-four hour period to tally the number of sheltered homeless and those persons who are homeless and cannot be surveyed. There are those individuals living in cars, at campgrounds, under bridges or other locations throughout the county. Homelessness is not just in Greenville. Even the smallest town in Darke County has those that are not sheltered.

The history of this study goes back to September of 2004 when the Darke County Continuum of Care was created and dedicated to ending homelessness within our communities. The intent is to raise awareness of the factors that put people at risk, working together in addressing all contributing factors and securing necessary support services to assist individuals and families in maintaining safe, affordable and decent housing.

The purpose of the local Continuum of Care is the framework for a comprehensive array of outreach, emergency shelter, transitional and permanent housing, and supportive services to address the varying needs of persons who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. The local plan is also a prerequisite to applying for federal housing grants through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Other funding entities such as state Ohio Department of Development and local governments are also requiring the sign off from the local Continuum of Care. With the efforts of the Darke County Continuum of Care, additional funding has been made available to Darke County to prevent homelessness and to assist those who are homeless to find stable housing.

Carol Littman, contact person for the Point-In-Time Study, stated, “This year, the local study is mandatory. Places we are contacting include veterans’ organizations, nursing homes, hotels, churches, the homeless shelters, and many social service agencies.” She explained, “The importance of the study is to try and recognize the barriers that people face and to help them before they become homeless. The Darke County Emergency Homeless assisted 85 individuals in 2014.” She also stated that if anyone knows of someone who is homeless or even living in a camper in the back yard on January 27th, please help by calling the CAP office.

Littman went on to say that Community Action Partnership currently has funds to assist those who are homeless through HCRP/Rapid Rehousing funds. Those who are eligible can be assisted with first month’s rent and deposit. The point of contact for the P-I-T study is Community Action Partnership (CAP), 1469 Sweitzer St., Greenville, OH 45331, phone 937-548-8143.

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