Contra Costa County seeks volunteers to help with homeless count
January 5, 2009
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Contra Costa Health Services´ Homeless Program is reaching out to the public for volunteers to assist in a count of Contra Costa´s unsheltered homeless population on January 28, 2009.
Every two years, more than 100 volunteers set out on a countywide mission to collect data for the homeless census, conducted by Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS). The deadline to register is January 20. The actual count will run from 6 to 8 a.m. Wednesday, January 28, in West County, Central County and East County.
About 15,000 people experience homelessness in Contra Costa County each year, said Cynthia Belon, Director of the Homeless Program. In any given night there are more than 7,000 people experiencing homelessness in Contra Costa.
"In order to define the progress we are making toward ending homelessness in our community, we need to collect baseline data on the county´s homeless population every couple of years," Belon said. "Volunteers are key to the success of this effort."
The count is a part of Contra Costa Health Services´ 10-year plan to end homelessness in the county. By documenting the extent of the problem, CCHS is able to request funding for the homeless services and housing provided throughout the County. Case management, substance abuse treatment, employment training and permanent housing are only some of what is provided through the Homeless Program.
During the 2007 count, more than 4,000 sheltered and unsheltered homeless people were identified.
Volunteers must attend a one-hour training class before the count. To register for the county´s third biennial homeless census, contact Rachel Goldman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Contra Costa Health Services´ Homeless Program, visit www.cchealth.org/groups/homeless/
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- Cynthia Belon