Homeless count begins in Madras, Warm Springs
The annual Point-in-Time Count in Central Oregon, which counts people who are homeless or in transitional housing in Jefferson, Deschutes and Crook counties, kicks off this week in Madras.
The Homeless Leadership Coalition will be conducting the count Friday, Jan. 25, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the First Baptist Church, at 85 NE A St., in Madras. Counts may also be conducted at the Madras Warming Shelter at the Madras Free Methodist Church, Jan. 23-25, beginning at 6 p.m. each evening, if temperatures drop below freezing.
During the hours of the Friday count, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., there will also be a Community Resource Fair, offering a warm meal, gift cards, clothing, food, resources and prizes at the First Baptist Church.
In Warm Springs, the count will be held Thursday, Jan. 24, at the Health and Human Services Building. The time will be announced.
The count is a part of a state and national effort to identify the number of people struggling to find appropriate and adequate housing.
During the last week of January, there is a nationwide effort to count every person experiencing homelessness across the country. The Point-In-Time Count attempts to capture both sheltered and unsheltered homeless people to provide a snapshot of homelessness in the United States.
Volunteers across the region conduct a street count of people considered to be unsheltered, meaning they are living outside, and collect data on the homeless population living in emergency shelters and transitional housing.
In addition to the total number of sheltered and unsheltered homeless population, information is gathered on a wide range of characteristics of the homeless population, including age, gender, race, ethnicity, veteran status and disability status.
The count will provide the most up-to-date information about the number of individuals in Central Oregon who are struggling to find adequate housing. Through the data, local agencies and programs will be able to better target support services and develop comprehensive plans to address poverty and homelessness in Central Oregon.
Individuals and families counted through this effort include people living in:
- Transitional housing.
- "Doubled up" or precariously housed with families or friends.
- Camping, sleeping outdoors or in cars or RVs without full hookup.
- Other places not designed for human habitation.
Counts will be taking place throughout Central Oregon from Jan. 23- 25, depending on location.
Additional agencies will survey clients seeking services and anyone who wishes to participate and self-report is encouraged to contact your local support agency or medical providers in your area.
For more information, anyone interested in volunteering is encouraged to contact Vicky Ryan, HLC board member and Crook County public information officer at 541-323-2467, or 541-233-8504.
Homeless Leadership Coalition
The Homeless Leadership Coalition is a collaboration of community partners in Jefferson, Crook and Deschutes counties engaging the community through education, advocacy, planning prioritizing and accountability for services to persons experiencing homelessness.
The HLC consists of more than 40 organizations and individuals from the tri-county region.
They include shelter providers, public schools, public health, emergency services, veterans outreach, faith communities, public safety, mental health, housing services, public services, private employers, people with lived experience of homelessness and others. They represent a diverse group of interests, unified by a common focus.