An accurate count of the homeless could earn El Dorado County more funding to help them. Thinkstock image

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Human Services plans homeless count; volunteers needed

By January 14, 2011

An accurate count of the homeless could earn El Dorado County more funding to help them. Thinkstock image

Do you care about the plight of the homeless people in El Dorado County?

Do you wish there were more housing and services to help people who truly want help?

Are you frustrated with inadequate funding that doesn’t meet the needs of our community?

For a single night during the last 10 days of January, Continuum of Care jurisdictions across the country are undertaking community-wide efforts to collect information on the number and characteristics of individuals and families experiencing homelessness. Nationally, the point-in-time homeless count will be used as the primary data source for federal agencies to understand homelessness trends and track national progress against the goals and objectives contained in Opening Doors, the Federal Strategic Plan to End Homelessness.

El Dorado County has the opportunity to affect the amount of money that comes to the county for homeless services by documenting the extent of homelessness in the county through participation in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development mandated point-in-time count of unsheltered and sheltered homeless persons. This is a massive effort requiring many caring volunteers who are willing to donate three to four hours of their time. Homeless counts document the extent of the problem for funders, establish baseline data for historical purposes and help us better understand the causes of homelessness so more effective responses can be developed.

Volunteer to help during the early-morning homeless count or to interview during the week of Jan. 27-31. Drivers and counters are needed for the morning of Jan. 28.

Training will be made available to volunteers. To sign up call Yvette Wencke, El Dorado County Department of Human Services, at [email protected] or (530) 642-4864.

Special to Village Life

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