Federal funding for homelessness prevention rose in the last few years and while it won’t be cut altogether this year its funding will be slashed.
Those cuts to funding can effect the number of homeless being helped in our area and could boost the number of people living on the streets. Those trends are what the Muskingum County Continuum of Care will be looking at during its annual homeless count.
"Sometimes you’re just talking about minor things like people that can’t afford to get a photo id and therefore they can’t apply for some jobs or get into certain specific housing, said MCCC’s Patrick Skilliter. "On the other end you have folks that are dealing with dependency issues."
Last year 47 homeless lived in shelters in Muskingum County and 17 were living on the streets. During the count volunteers take to the streets meeting the homeless and providing backpacks filled with food and supplies.
"I think that they will see things that will always surprise them," said Skilliter. "At its heart we just don’t count data. That’s what we’re required to do, but we take that requirement and turn it into something we want to do."
If you would like to volunteer to help at this year’s homeless count a mandatory training session is being held Saturday, January 21st from 11-2p.m. at Zane State College’s Health Science Hall. The count will take place January 24th.
To register contact Doris Peyton at (740) 297-3627.