The Point in Time homeless count town hall forum is a good way to remind people of the problems faced year-round

Think back for a moment to late December in Crook County. Recall a time of the year when you didn't have to look long to find a way to contribute to somebody less fortunate. Remember that community leaders had just finished a hurried effort to complete construction of a new homeless shelter so that men were not left to freeze on the streets. Look back at a time when the Holiday Partnership had just put the finishing touches on another successful event that provided numerous people in need with gifts, food and other important services.

Six months later, the sun is shining, the community is sprinkled with colorful flowers and green trees and people have begun turning their attention to time at the parks, at the pool or perhaps the lake. Gone are the damp and miserably cold nights of the winter, replaced with the pleasant cool evenings people enjoy all summer long.

Perhaps it is fitting that now is the time the results of the 2018 Point in Time Homeless Count will emerge. Not in the chilling days of January when the count took place. Not at a time when people are likely more aware of people's needs when it comes to warmth and shelter. Instead, the results will be shared with the community a week before the start of the Crooked River Roundup, well-known for its sun-soaked rodeos and evening events. People will learn about who is still going without a home when daytime temperatures are forecasted to eclipse 90 degrees.

The event is planned next Wednesday evening, at 5 p.m., in the Crook County Library's Broughton Room. Not only will local leaders share these numbers with the community, they have decided to hold a town hall during which people are invited to attend, learn about the numbers and what they mean.

It seems this time of year that people could forget about the struggles that homeless people in Crook County and elsewhere face on a daily basis. It's not that they stopped caring. Instead, the frequent reminders people encounter during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season have temporarily vanished. Out of sight, out of mind.

But thanks to a town hall meeting planned to cover the Point in Time count, people once again receive a public, visible reminder that people still struggle and still need help. Residents can find out how pervasive homelessness is in Crook County and perhaps become part of the solution.

Take time to attend this event. Spend an evening this summer learning about a problem that persists year-round, and support local leaders as they continue to search for ways to not only improve outreach to those who need help, but hopefully lower the number of homeless community members in the coming years.

Cold and miserable conditions may take a break each year, but the homeless problem doesn't. Stop by the forum, remind yourself what Crook County faces every day, and what you can do to help.

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