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Counting the homeless

During the last week in January, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs will partner with more than 60 communities around the state to conduct a count of homeless families and individuals in Georgia. Data gathered from the count will provide information on families and individuals who met the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s definition of homelessness. In the process of collecting that data, counties will also collect data on families and individuals who are precariously housed and in danger of becoming homeless.

DCA is partnering with Kennesaw State University that will use the data collected to create statistical estimate of the number of homeless individuals statewide.

The planned count will use short surveys asking people where they spent the night of Jan. 23, 2011. Surveys will be administered during the last week of January at locations where persons with housing difficulties are likely to seek help, as well as “hot spots” where people that are homeless are known to gather.

DCA is providing the survey instrument, training, technical assistance, data input and data analysis for participating counties.

The Southwest Georgia Regional Commission is working to organize the count in Decatur, Grady, Early, Miller, Mitchell and Seminole counties in this immediate area.

For questions about the count and the effort being made to count southwest Georgia’s homeless, contact Lauren Miller at (229) 522-3552 or lmiller@swgrc.org.