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Homeless count organizers seek information, volunteers

Efforts are underway to survey homeless individuals and families in Carlton County with a goal of developing and improving programs and services to reduce homelessness.

Efforts are underway to survey homeless individuals and families in Carlton County with a goal of developing and improving programs and services to reduce homelessness.

The annual Point-In-Time (PIT) Count is being conducted Jan. 23-29 by a partnership of local and regional government and social services organizations serving Carlton County residents. The count will focus on people who are homeless on the night of Thursday, Jan. 26. Homeless includes those who are living outside, on the streets, in abandoned buildings, on public transit, in encampments or other places not meant for human habitation as well as people temporarily staying with family or friends, in emergency shelters, transitional housing programs or motels.

Those interested in volunteering, or who know the whereabouts of someone who is homeless, are asked to contact Bob Nelson at the Cloquet Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) at 218-879-3353 or email bob@cloquetcarltonhra.org .

Personal information about the respondents is not included in the survey. Information gathered in the PIT Count is used to inform Minnesota’s Continuum of Care plans to develop and deliver housing and services to reduce homelessness. The PIT Count is a nationwide effort by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to gather demographic data on the number and characteristics of homeless people including veterans, families, chronically homeless individuals and youth. The survey includes demographics, household composition, disability status, exposure to violence, length of homelessness, foster care involvement, employment status, criminal background, and military service.

People experiencing homelessness can complete the survey throughout the week by stopping in Cloquet at the Human Development Center’s Outreach Center, Salvation Army or the HRA as well as the Lakes and Pines Community Action Council in Moose Lake. All people completing the survey will receive a bag with useful supplies for daily living including hats, socks, matches, shopping cards, and food, and more.

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The morning of Friday, Jan. 27, trained volunteers will go out into the community and interview respondents to complete the survey. Volunteer training will begin at 8 a.m. Jan. 27 at Aspen Arms (950 14th St., Cloquet). Following training, the count will runs from 9 a.m. to noon, with lunch and debriefing at Aspen Arms at 1 p.m. Lakes and Pines CAC will assist with the count in the southern region of Carlton County.

Related Topics: CARLTON COUNTY
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