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WJBD - Local News - BCMW To Conduct "Homeless Headcount" January 29th

BCMW To Conduct "Homeless Headcount" January 29th

By Will Doolin, WJBD News

On Tuesday, January 29th, BCMW Community Services, in conjuction with the 27 county Southern Illinois Continuum of Care, will begin conducting a homeless headcount to develop an accurate picture of the issue in Illinois.

Sue Castleman at BCMW says an accurate count helps the organizations when it comes to grant funding from the government. "Housing and Urban Development (HUD) require through our continuum that we do a homeless count.  What this count does is to identify the unduplicated count.  The number that we come up with from our count is used for our application to HUD.  It determines the amount of funding that we get”, said Castleman.   

The year prior homeless families totaled 411 in the 27 county area.  Castleman says the count can difficult to conduct in a rural area.  "Lots of times it's hard to see them because they're in places that we can't find them.  Sometimes they might be staying out in the woods, and we're not able to count those who have doubled or tripled or hold up with family members.  So we have a hard time, and we go out and see people out to try and identify who's homeless in our area.  Then sometimes we have people who are put up in shelter, but it's really harder in the rural counties to get an accurate count”, said Castleman.  

BCMW will be the contact point for five counties within the Continuum, including Bond, Clinton, Marion, Washington and Jefferson Counties.  Castleman is asking everyone in the area to contact the organization if they have information on any homeless in the area that can be counted.  Packets have been set to organizations who work with the homeless.

For more information on the homeless count, or if you identify someone who is homeless, contact Sue Castleman at BCMW at 532-7388, extension 115.

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