Help wanted: Bi-annual homeless count

Mary Lawrence with People United to Stop Homelessness of St. Johns County, told Historic City News local community reporters that the Emergency Services Homeless Coalition will conduct its HUD required bi-annual homeless count on January 25, 2011 from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

“It is critical we get a good count this time so the 10-year planning committee has accurate numbers to work with,” Lawrence told Historic City News. “Anything we can do to get accurate information into the committee’s hands, will give them the tools they need to construct a realistic, and, more importantly, targeted plan to help the very people we’ve been working for.”

“You don’t have to work alone,” Lawrence said. “You get training and can volunteer the hours that work for you.”

Participants in the canvass are required to attend a training session being held at First United Methodist Church; located at the corner of Riberia Street and King Street on January 20, 2011 at noon. For volunteers who want to help, but are not available during work hours, the required training session will be scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on January 20th at the main office of the Emergency Services Homeless Coalition at 523 West King Street.

According to Lawrence, St. Johns is one of the few counties in Florida that does not have an actionable 10-year plan to end homelessness. “This is unacceptable,” Lawrence said. “I cannot tell you how important this activity is.”

Questions can be directed to Debi at Emergency Services Homeless Coalition 904-824-6623.

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