Posted: Monday, January 28th 2013 at 7:08pm
Count of Forsyth County's homeless underway
By Derreck Booth Editor
CUMMING - A group of several interests in Forsyth County are working together on a count of the county's homeless population this week.
Melissa Corliss, Director of Community Impact for the United Way of Forsyth County, said they'd already formed a focus group on the homeless issue last year.
When they heard about the statewide count, they wanted to be involved.
"We just feel like this will really help our community get a handle on the scope of the homeless issue," Corliss said.
United Way of Forsyth County is heading up the count with help from other non-profits, the faith community, the school system and volunteers.
It hasn't come without a little push back from some entities they wanted to partner with.
"Businesses that folks may want to go into just to get out of the elements if they are homeless, we have met with a little opposition there," Corliss said.
But some service providers and school officials are doing their own counting. They're also reaching out to food pantries, extended stay hotels as well as doing some canvassing.
When they're finished, Corliss said they'll turn in the local numbers. She said they'll be processed at Kennessaw State University for a statewide report.
The definition of homeless in the count covers a broad spectrum, according to Corliss. It includes sheltered homeless, people who don't have a permanent place to live, but are currently in shelter or temporary housing.
It also includes unsheltered homeless. They're individuals who are living in vehicles, abandoned buildings or on the streets.
They're also looking for the imminently homeless, or people who may be a few days away from eviction or foreclosure with no plans for housing.
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