Volunteers canvassing St. Louis County to count homeless populat - KMOV.com

Volunteers canvassing St. Louis County to count homeless population

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(Credit: KMOV) (Credit: KMOV)

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – Volunteers with St. Louis County are hitting the streets Thursday to count the number of homeless people in the area.

The St. Louis County’s Human Service Department is conducting the count, which is part of the federally required Point-in-Time Homeless Count.

The team is made up of 64 volunteers who will meet homeless individuals, have them take a survey as a way to secure federal funding.

"It’s mandated by HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) that we actually go out and count and do surveys to identify individuals who are actually homeless and unsheltered in the St. Louis County and St. Louis City area," said Chaunceia Mayfield, a St. Louis County homeless program manager. "First and foremost our concern is to identify those individuals who are homeless and to get them into shelter immediately and then connect them into services and resource that can help them move from homelessness to more stable housing."

Between 5 a.m. and 12 p.m., volunteers will be canvassing the county to find anyone living on the street to ensure they are included in the census.

Mayfield says the county has 90 municipalities and the volunteers were dispersed into 18 sectors tackling places like libraries, MetroLink stations, emergency rooms and laundromats.

"Our homeless count is extremely important because we need to identify those in need of shelter and basic services," St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger said. "I'd like to thank the volunteers for their charitable service to our community."

Federal resources and money to help the homeless are given to communities based on the documented counts.

Last year, Mayfield say the county got about $1.9 million in federal funding to help with programs and housing for the homeless. 

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