State embarking on 2nd homeless count - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

State embarking on 2nd homeless count

By Wainwright Jeffers - bio | email

September 18, 2008

CAMILLA, GA (WALB) - Georgia is trying to get a handle on the homeless problem.

The Department of Community Affairs is embarking on the second homeless count to find out how many people in Georgia need housing.

They're visiting communities statewide to get them involved in administering the surveys.

On Thursday they were in southwest Georgia.

The Southwest Georgia Regional Development Center is trying to get the word out about the upcoming homeless count.

"We want to really get a pulse for what's happening in southwest Georgia," said Lauren Miller, S.W. Georgia Regional Development Center.

The center is working with the Department of Community Affairs, on how to train local officials to conduct the surveys.

"We're working with communities all over the state to get ready, and really try to understand the size and the seriousness of housing problems in the state," said Dr. Jane Massey, GA Department of Community Affairs.

The eight counties in southwest Georgia participating in the count will contact area agencies to get the surveys completed.

Agencies like the Albany Rescue Mission.

Organizations like this will be contacted to help collecting information.

"Those organizations will then administer the survey to people they provide service to," said Massey.

"Once we can identify what the problem is, we can identify what the solution is," said Miller.

Six counties in southwest Georgia have still not signed up for the homeless count.

In addition to collecting the numbers, the surveys will help to develop potential programs and funding opportunities to aid the homeless population.

No personal information such as social security numbers, or names will be collected, only initials and birth date.

The count will take place statewide in January.

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