County needs volunteers for annual Point in Time count

Later this month, an annual one-day effort gets underway to count the people in Island County who don’t have addresses.

The department leading the effort is seeking volunteers to help in the mandated Point in Time Count, taking place Thursday, Jan. 23.

Island County Human Services is looking for people from all areas of Whidbey Island to help in the count and survey, the results of which are designed help identify trends and needs regarding local homelessness.

The numbers used in the count also guide state and federal funding allocation decisions, which is why it’s important for it to be as accurate as possible, according to county Housing Resource Coordinator Joanne Pelant.

The survey also allows social workers, veteran resource workers and others to directly provide or refer services to those in need.

County officials also ask residents who are aware of people living homeless near their communities to contact the office to help inform volunteers where to go and to provide those people services.

Teams of volunteers may ride bus routes, stay at an event location — which is the senior center in Oak Harbor this year — or travel to known areas where unsheltered individuals reside.

Training will occur prior to the count.

• Those interested in helping with the count may contact Emily Wildeman at 360-678-7804, email to e.wildeman@islandcountywa.gov or sign up online at www.sugeni.us/c9wv

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