Point in Time conducts homelessness count

By KBJR News 1

January 23, 2014 Updated Jan 23, 2014 at 8:33 PM CDT


It's time for the Point in Time homeless count.

Homelessness in Duluth remains a problem, with more than a thousand people looking for shelter from CHUM in 2013.

Last year a homeless count called "Point In–Time" was conducted by the Duluth Housing and Urban Development Authority.

They counted 412 sheltered and unsheltered homeless in one day.
Gabrielle Ware caught up with those involved in this year's Point in Time count.

St. Louis County is working with CHUM and other help organizations to count and record the homeless population throughout the day today.
Officials say, however, finding an accurate account on this particularly cold day could be a problem.

"Folks that may usually be out at a camp we're trying to get them in so they wouldn't of slept outside last night however when it's warmer they would be out every night. There are some that stay out however, I think it will be significantly lower due to the temperatures," says Deb Holman Street Outreach Worker.

Temperatures around 20 below are forcing the homeless to work diligently to get inside even if it means, as one official surmises, purposely getting into detox just to stay out of the cold.
Those homeless people will remain uncounted.

County employees are doing their part to survey homeless people who come into the government center in Duluth.

"Trying to get the details the information and the demographics of folks. Whether they're veterans whether they have families, how many children are a part of this male female, that kind of thing, says Stacy Radosevich, with the county.

12 percent of the homeless population has recently been released from a correctional facility.

"In many cases landlords don't want to rent to someone with a criminal background," Radosevich adds.

When conducted accurately, surveys like the Point in Time help the county acquire grants to provide more housing opportunities for the underserved.

"I'm thanking the CHUM center for helping me. Giving me food clothes, shelter, showers, laundry, you feel homeless out there in Duluth, MN come to the CHUM center, God bless," Dave Thomson, who was recently helped by CHUM.

During the survey outreach reps visited a couple living with their two dogs in a camper without heat.
They provided propane, a car battery and pet food.

"It's a little chihuhua, it weighs three pounds...she's cold up front because we don't heat the front part."

Forty percent of homeless families are experiencing it for the first time.

The results from the survey must be submitted by February 3rd.
The report will be compiled in the Spring.

Posted to the web by Gabrielle Ware