TOPEKA -- Homelessness in Shawnee County and across the country appears to be changing. In the past year, the Topeka Rescue Mission has seen record numbers of guests in the shelter with the biggest increase being in single mothers and children. Various other homeless outreach providers have also seen changes recently.
Now, more than ever, it is important for us to obtain the appropriate level of funding so that we can provide more services to those experiencing homelessness and those at risk for homelessness. To receive funding for programs, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires communities to complete a point-in-time count of the homeless every year.
This year’s Point-In-Time count will be held on:
Wednesday, January 25 from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
“This is one of the important ways for Topeka to determine whether we are meeting the needs of persons experiencing homelessness,” said Randy Speaker, Director of the City of Topeka’s Housing and Neighborhood Development Department. The information gathered will help Topeka to:
• Understand changes in homelessness within the community;
• Make sure services are meeting the needs of homeless persons;
• Raise public awareness about the issues surrounding homelessness; and
• Measure community progress towards preventing and ending homelessness.
Stand up and be counted! Persons who are experiencing homelessness or know someone who is, please call 368-0168 between 6:00am and 8:00pm on January 25th, or drop by the Rescue Mission or Let’s Help and complete a survey on that day. Surveys will also be available at the City’s Holliday Building, 620 SE Madison, in the Holliday Conference Room from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on January 25th.
Call 368-0168 if you need a volunteer to come to you with a survey or to schedule an appointment next Wednesday, January 25th.
For more information or to volunteer to help with the count, please contact Doug Wallace, Valeo Behavioral Health Care, at 783-3106 or reach him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.