SALISBURY – Provided to WBTV by David Holston, Rowan Helping Ministries: Volunteers and Rowan County Agencies that serve individuals in crisis have been asking where people were slept on the night of January 30. The volunteers are trying to identify homeless individuals and families.
HUD, the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, asks each county in the U. S. to count homeless individuals and families on the last Wednesday night on odd numbered years. In North Carolina the count is done each year. The count, officially called the Point-in-Time (PIT) and Housing Inventory Count (HIC) is organized locally. The lead agency in 2013 in Rowan County is Rowan Helping Miniseries.
The count is for both Sheltered and Unsheltered individuals and families. For the second year seniors from Catawba College who are majoring in Sociology interviewed guests at Rowan Helping Ministries and Family Crisis Council. These students ask a series of questions of each guest in an effort to identify trends and needs common among this population.
To identify the unsheltered population interviewers go to many of the places Homeless individuals and families seek services. Interviews can collect data at these sites for up to two weeks after the nigh of he count. Places where the count is taking place this year include are: Rowan County Public Library, Rowan County Department of Social Services, Main Street Mission in China Grove, Rowan Helping Ministries-West in Mt. Ulla and Rowan Helping Ministries Soup Kitchen, Rowan-Salisbury School System and the VA Medical Center. Interviewers may also count individuals on the street.
Last years count showed 161 homeless individuals on that one night in Rowan County.
While the numbers for the 2013 count are not final there were eleven more individuals at the overnight shelter at Rowan Helping Miniseries that in 2012.