Volunteers Needed for Homeless Count January 30th

Posted on December 26, 2012. Filed under: Volunteering is Hot! | Tags: , , |

Thousands of people in Marion and Polk counties experience homelessness each year, including at least 800 youth according to the 2012 Marion County CHIP report.  The vast majority of these youth and adults are people for whom life has dealt a crushing blow: serious illness, abuse, addiction, inability to work, collapse of a family, and ultimately the loss of a place to live.

The annual Homeless Count, conducted by Community Action and its partners, serves our community in the following ways:

  • Gives a more accurate number of our homeless population and information about the causes of homelessness.  Homeless advocates continue to work toward a Plan to End Homelessness in Marion and Polk counties.  The Count gives us the information needed to improve services to better help people out of homelessness, and prevent it in the first place.

 

  • Provides a yearly measure to see if homeless program changes are reducing the number of homeless people.  Are the changes made to how we serve the homeless actually working, and reducing the number of homeless people?

 

  • Accurate homeless statistics are necessary to receive the continued federal support (almost one million dollars annually) for homeless programs in Marion and Polk counties.

 

A large group of volunteers provide the foundation of the support for the Homeless Count every year. Mobile volunteers spend their time traveling in marked vans to locate, greet and count homeless persons on the street, in parks, parking lots, and other places where homeless people frequent. Stationary volunteers help with a variety of tasks at Homeless Count event locations. This year’s Homeless Count will occur on January 30. The stationary locations are throughout Salem and Woodburn.  All volunteers need to attend the Volunteer Orientation on Monday, January 28th, 6:00-7:30pm.   To find more information and sign-up to help, visit HandsOnW.org and search for ‘Homeless Count’ and make a real difference in the lives of those in need.

Austin Rowlader is the Community Mobilizer for HandsOn Willamette—a program of Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency. He can be reached at (877) 372-4141, or austin.rowlader@mwvcaa.org

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