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Annual Count Of Local Homeless To Be Conducted Tonight

The Community Shelter Board leads the eleventh annual "Point In Time" count of the homeless population in Columbus and Franklin County tonight.  It will be conducted at the Blackburn Recreation Center, where more than 40 social service agencies will gather to provide access to critical services. CSB collects overnight numbers from shelters, and stations volunteers at free community meal sites. Others comb the land to reach those unaware of the count. CSB officials say more than 9 thousand people filled every shelter bed last year. Over the last three years, shelters served 79 percent more families and 16 percent more single men and women. Volunteers and social workers conducted the annual census of Hamilton County's homeless earlier this week. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires communities to make the count each year.  Kevin Finn directs "Strategies to End Homelessness" in Hamilton County. says the results determine how federal grant monies should be spent.

Finn says most of the community counts are conducted at the end of January, because more homeless people are in shelters.

Jim has been with WCBE since 1996. Before that he worked as a reporter at another Columbus radio station, and for three newspapers in Southwest Florida.
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