By ANDREW WILSON
Record Herald Writer
MIAMI COUNTY - The Miami County Continuum of Care presented the results of its latest Point in Time Count on Friday, Feb. 22. The Point in Time Count, which provides a count of the homeless and at-risk individuals in Miami County, occurs once a year in January and is gathered by many social service agencies in Miami County and sent to the Family Abuse Center of Miami County to be tabulated. The count also determines how much funding the group receives for shelter services as well as U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) dollars.
“This year three agencies really did some aggressive outreach to get us a better number of the true need for assistance in our community,” Miami County Continuum of Care President Barbara Holman. “They are New Path in Tipp City and Partners in Hope and Miami County Recovery Council in Troy.”
The Continuum of Care is a group made up of concerned citizens, county officials, service providers and former homeless people. It was created in 1996 by the Family Abuse Shelter in response to a HUD initiative.
According to HUD’s official website, the point-in-time count is a one-night count of each continuum’s sheltered and unsheltered homeless populations, more than 3,000 across the nation. These one-night ‘snapshot’ counts are then reported to HUD as part of state and local grant applications. Holman said the forms used by surveyors asked for participants’ gender, age, subpopulation (individual, family, veteran, mentally ill, substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, domestic violence, disability), race, description of their household, ethnicity and location where the person is living. It also asked how long the person has been homeless and if they have received any help in the past such as food stamps, food bank, emergency shelter, prescription assistance, counseling, etc.
The count occurred this year on Jan. 22 and revealed a total of 61 men, women and children in Miami County were considered “literally homeless.” Of those 61 individuals, 53 were sheltered, or those staying in emergency shelters such as the Family Abuse Shelter House or transitional housing like the Miami County Recovery Council.
Additionally, eight persons were found to be unsheltered, or those living in places such as cars, tents and abandoned buildings among others.