YCAP seeks help with homeless count
Yamhill Community Action Partnership (YCAP) is calling on volunteers to help execute its homeless count Jan. 31.
The annual assessment helps put the county's homeless problem into numbers and is part of a 10-year plan to end homelessness.
Volunteers will help collect information through anonymous surveys and assist individuals to access services they might need by participating in outreach efforts on the street and at drop-in-sites throughout the county, according to Mandy Gawf, YCAP client services coordinator.
The count will include those who are living outside, those who are "couch surfing," living in a vehicle or living in shelters or motels.
YCAP also partners with Helping Hands, Love INC and YCAP's Newberg shelters, to count those living in shelters.
Newberg will host three drop-in sites where people can go to be counted and receive food and supplies: the Youth Outreach office at 719 E. First St. from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Newberg Zion Lutheran Church at 301 S. River St. from noon to 4 p.m.; and Newberg River Street Church at 715 S. River St. from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Staff from the Youth Outreach program and volunteers will form street teams to provide survival supplies and administer surveys to those who cannot come to the drop-in sites. The teams will visit locations where persons are most likely to be encountered.
A county-wide free transit day has been approved to make access easier to drop-in sites for the count and to receive supplies.
A site specifically for veterans will be held at McMinnville First Baptist church from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., complete with a meal. Veteran service providers will offer resource connections, survival supplies and other resources, such as housing.
Gawf said the results of the count are used in several ways, including to support requests for funding.
In 2017, YCAP used data from the homeless count to support a grant proposal to house chronically homeless persons.
The department of Housing and Urban development approved the request and YCAP received $61,364 to launch its new Open Door Housing program in July 2017. So far the program has helped 10 chronically homeless persons in Yamhill County find housing.
The overall total from last year's count in Yamhill County was 1,066, which includes sheltered, unsheltered and "precariously housed" persons.
Overall, 233 people were counted as living in some type of shelter on the night of the count, with females slightly outnumbering males.
A total of 89 homeless youth under 18 were counted last year, including 14 who were unaccompanied by an adult, 34 in shelters and 55 who were unsheltered. Of the 33 veterans counted, 19 were in shelters.