VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - A nationwide, yearly count of homeless persons took place across the Wabash Valley throughout the day on Wednesday.
More than 5,000 people experienced homelessness in the Hoosier State in 2018 according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness.
More than 3,000 of the homeless are individual adults. Around 1,700 are families, more than 500 accounts for veterans and around 260 are children. Counties across the state are hoping to tackle this issue.
The Point in Time homeless count took place today in six counties throughout the Wabash Valley. It's required by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to take place across the country. This is so they can collect data for accurate federal funding in an effort to eradicate homelessness.
HUD requires local councils nationwide to complete counts of homeless persons in their area. Vigo County is a part of Region Seven which includes Clay, Parke, Putnam, Sullivan, and Vermillion Counties as well. This is to help HUD gather accurate data to provide federal grants to help the effort to prevent and end homelessness.
Volunteers were all around Terre Haute on Wednesday including Fairbanks and Gilbert Parks. They had anyone who came fill out a survey while also offering them free clothes, tents, sleeping bags, blankets, and really anything a homeless person might need in the Winter.
Volunteer Debby Veach and Region Seven Homeless Count Chair Kelli Fuller share the importance of the count. "If we can get an accurate count, then we can get the money to help build more shelters and provide more services for those living out on the streets," Veach said, "We can't save the entire world, but if we can help just one person who is homeless and living on the street, then that means a lot."
"We work with getting them connected to behavioral health, primary health, and any sort of Veteran Services too," Fuller added, "Anything they would need, we connect them with those resources as well."