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Agencies to make count of homeless population

Jan 9, 2013 - By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer

A point-in-time count will be held Jan. 24 in Fremont County so sheltered and unsheltered homeless people can be counted and added to national data.

The PIT count is carried out on one day every odd numbered year to gather information for local and national figures. The data is used to improve programs and invest in resources that would help eliminate homelessness in communities.

Continuums of Care is planning and conducting the count while Fremont County's First Stop Help Center will be accepting confirmation from agencies in the county who would like to participate.

A webinar for participating agencies will be Thursday.

Interested agencies are encouraged to contact the First Stop Help Center in Lander at 332-2877 or e-mail at firststophelpcenter@gmail.com if they haven't confirmed their participation but would like to.

First Stop Help Center director Dana Neil-Flint said the information that will be requested from homeless individuals is age, number of children in families, mental health diagnosis, addiction problems and if they stay in a shelter or live with other people.

Some confirmed PIT Count locations will be in Dubois, Lander, Riverton, Shoshoni, Fort Washakie, Ethete and Arapahoe. Some items will be given to the homeless when they visit the locations.

Neil-Flint said some locations have already agreed to participate, including Riverton Memorial Hospital, the First United Methodist Church in Lander, the Alcohol Crisis Center in Riverton and the Eastern Shoshone Recovery Center.

Riverton's Alcohol Crisis Center director Lisa Amos said the center has participated several times in the past, and it has been a great opportunity to provide a better count of the homeless in the county.

Other meetings will be held before the day of the PIT Count to provide additional information and training to the centers to show how to acquire necessary information needed from the homeless.

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