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Fort Wayne homeless count is Thursday

Statement as issued Friday by the United Way of Allen County:

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (January 24, 2013) – United Way of Allen County and the area Homelessness Council will conduct the Point In Time Count January 30. The count is used to determine the number of homeless individuals and families currently in our community. The count covers those who are residing in shelters or are currently without housing. The count does not cover those who are currently living with other friends, family members or who are staying temporarily in a hotel.

In 2013, the Point In Time Count resulted in counting 535 persons experiencing homeless, whether they were staying in a shelter or living someplace not meant for human habitation. Of those, 134 were children under the age of 18. The number of individuals who were victims of domestic violence nearly doubled, as did those that are struggling with chronic substance abuse. The number of homeless veterans counted tripled from the prior year.

“Last year we experienced an increase in the number of homeless individuals that are veterans and individuals dealing with substance abuse or violence,” said Tiffany Bailey, director of 2-1-1, income and basic needs at United Way and chair of the Fort Wayne Area Planning Council on Homelessness. “This year we are hoping to see that trend reversed.”

This 2014 Point In Time Count will be done at two locations on January 30. Those who wish to participate in the count can visit The Rescue Mission at 301 W. Superior St. between 6 a.m.- 6 p.m. or the Samuel Walker Community Center at 1151 Francis St. from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.

The Fort Wayne Area Planning Council on Homelessness is working hard to address the issue of homelessness so local individuals can find permanent shelter, employment and supportive services to become self-sufficient. The Planning Council is comprised of dozens of agencies, as well as local government, and is working toward three main goals: reducing the number of homeless persons, shortening the time that people are homeless and making sure enough resources exist to prevent people from becoming homeless again.

There are also ways local residents can provide support. By calling 2-1-1, you can talk to a specialist who can connect you to agencies in need of non-perishable food items and personal care product donations or organizations that need volunteers to help serve and support those in need. For those currently experiencing homelessness or at risk for becoming homeless, please dial 2-1-1 for assistance.

About United Way

Established in 1922, United Way of Allen County is a not-for-profit organization that works to strengthen the community through the four building blocks for a good quality of life: education, income, health and basic needs. United Way believes that quality education helps families achieve stable jobs, a safe place to live and good health. For more information, please visit www.unitedwayallencounty.org.

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