VOLUNTEERS ATTEMPT TO COUNT HOMELESS POPULATION IN HUMBOLDT
ARCATA, CA- For the next two days more than 40 agencies and volunteers will be taking to the streets to survey the homeless population. They’re trying to find out how many homeless are living in Humboldt County.
Volunteers are traveling from Garberville to Orick, and its no easy task. Many of the homeless are even reluctant to take to the survey because the questions are so personal. Karen Olson, a member of the Humboldt Housing and Homeless Coalition said, "the survey is pretty intimate and direct. And yes it does ask people if they have substance abuse issues, if they have become homeless because of domestic violence.”
It’s called the Point-In-Time count, and is conducted by the Humboldt Housing and Homeless Coalition. The survey starts by asking them where they slept the night of January 28th. Olson added, "we ask basic demographic questions. Then we also ask how people went homeless."
But what’s in it for them? In exchange for their participation each person will get a pair of free socks. We spoke to one homeless woman who tells us socks are like gold.
But in the long run they will get more then free socks. The information from the survey will help the county better accommodate the homeless. Olson said, "the Humboldt housing and homeless coalition will use this basic information to plan for services and use resources effectively."
Resources like shelters, and meals.
The last survey was taken in 2011 and found that over 1600 people were without housing in one night, including 450 children.