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United Way of the CSRA Collaborates With Statewide Partners to Perform the 2011 Homeless Count in Three Georgia Communities

During the last week in January 2011, United Way of the CSRA collaborated with over 18 health and human service organizations and faith-based agencies in Burke, Emanuel and Jefferson Counties to conduct a count of homeless families and individuals.  The count provided quality data on families and individuals who meet the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) definition of homelessness.  In the process of collecting that data, counties also took a closer look at families and individuals who are precariously housed and in danger of becoming homeless.  Results of the homeless surveys will be sent to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) and Kennesaw State University who will use the data collected to create a statistical estimate of the number of homeless individuals statewide.

The homeless count used a short survey asking people where they spent the night of January 23, 2011.  Surveys were administered by service organizations during the last week of January 2011 at locations where persons with housing difficulties are likely to seek help, as well as “hot spots” where the homeless are known to gather.  DCA provided the survey instrument, training, technical assistance, data input, and data analysis used by United Way for participating counties. 

The following are results obtained that will be added to the 2011 count as part of the larger state effort: 

Burke County – 81 Homeless – 41 Children (Under the Age of 18)
Emanuel County – 93 Homeless – 48 Children (Under the Age of 18)
Jefferson County – 48 Homeless – 24 Children (Under the Age of 18)

Homeless count results will help determine how much funding will be available for homeless assistance in the State of Georgia and how this funding is allocated by DCA.

Through the dedicated work of the many agencies (listed below) that assisted United Way in this process, we have gained important insight into understanding and responding to homeless housing needs in these three rural communities.

American Red Cross
AmeriCorps*VISTA
Communities in Schools
CSRA EOA
Family Connections
School Systems
Senior Citizens Center-Community Action
Sheriff’s Offices
Department of Family & Children Services
First United Methodist Church
Golden Harvest Food Bank
Hawhammock Baptist Church
May’s Grove Baptist Church
Phillip Grove Baptist Church
Roberson Grove Baptist Church
Salvation Army
Summerstand Outreach Ministry
United Way 2-1-1

For general questions about the 2011 count methodology, contact Joan Stoddard at 706-724-5544.