Agencies to aid census of homeless: In Sussex County, about 30 volunteers to fan out to help count population

We received this article from Melody Federico of NewBridge.

Help for the homeless: The Sussex County Interfaith Hospitality Network and other agencies will host a Project Homeless Connect event from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Manna House in the First Presbyterian Church, 54 High St., Newton. For details call (973) 579-1180.

Friday, January 19, 2007
Volunteers will fan out across the state Thursday in an effort to determine how many people are homeless.

The effort is called a point-in-time survey and provides a snapshot of the number of homeless on that day, said Joanne Bjornson, executive director of the Interfaith Council for Homeless Families. The survey is one tool used to determine the extent of homelessness and service needs of the population.

Morris County officials estimate that there are 1,300 sheltered homeless persons in the county.

Anne Murphy, director of the Sussex County Interfaith Hospitality Network, said that there are about 300 homeless in that county.

She said that volunteers know the several places in Sussex County where the homeless tend to gather. The count most likely will find the more visible homeless in the county, she said.

The 2006 total of Morris County homeless was a significant increase over 2005, when 539 homeless were counted. The county has a total of 458 beds for the homeless population — 171 emergency beds, 160 in transitional housing and 127 in permanent supportive housing.

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