Survey seeks to count homeless population

We read this in the Tri-Town News and thought it might be of interest.

Survey seeks to count homeless population

BY DAVE BENJAMIN

Tri-town News Staff Writer

JACKSON – The exact number of homeless people who live in Jackson may be determined by a one-day survey to be taken Jan. 25.

“There is a program that is being done throughout New Jersey called a point in time survey,” said Christopher D. Soleberry, pastor of the Hope of Glory Worship Center. “It is a survey in which people will go out into the woods and other rural areas to find, identify and survey the homeless and impoverished in our community so they can be accounted for and given help. The Hope of Glory Worship Center is the liaison for Jackson.”

Members of the worship center are being trained to visit with homeless individuals in wooded areas so they can obtain information that can help in identifying the homeless and to provide state and federal aid.

“There are certain criteria for identifying someone as homeless,” Soleberry said. Once the homeless are identified, “we will be able to provide sleeping bags, hats, coats and gloves for these people, as we find them.”

The Hope of Glory Worship Center is committed to providing better living conditions for people in Jackson who are “income radar,” Soleberry said.

“We are committed to impact the lives of these people and to do what we can to help them back into society,” said the pastor. “One of our goals for this year is to secure a church building in which we can start a daily soup kitchen and hope center to work with our state’s department of social services and other agencies to provide employment, housing, healthcare and other needs for the [less fortunate] in our community.

“I am pulling together three or four other churches in our area to assist with interviewing the homeless,” Soleberry said.

He said police are being asked to provide the survey takers with locations where homeless people may live and to offer security for the groups that are going out into these areas.

For more information on how to volunteer to help the homeless and to be a part of the survey, contact Chris Soleberry at (732) 833-4807 or visit their website.

Jan. 25 is also the date to help the homeless in other communities in Ocean County. It is called a one-day, one-stop event and is aimed at providing resources and information to people experiencing homelessness throughout the county.

From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. the Salvation Army will provide a hot meal at its Toms River location, 1738 Route 37. The mobile Ocean County Connection will be present from 1-3 p.m. at the same location.

The Macedonia Baptist Church, 143 John Street, Lakewood, will provide hot meals and Ken’s Kitchen at St. Mary’s Parish Hall, Route 9 and Route 72, Manahawkin, will also provide hot meals for those in need.