ST. GEORGE – Volunteers met Wednesday at St. George City Hall to be trained regarding the Point-In-Time that will be taking place on Jan. 30, 31 and Feb. 1, to count and distribute supplies to the homeless in Washington County.
Carol Hollowell of the Volunteer Center of Washington County was coordinating the effort.
“My guestimation is we could find at least 250 households (that are homeless), and that is not individuals,” Hollowell said.
“I think if we have the man power, for example last year we only found 65 and that’s because we only had 16 volunteers. If we had 150 volunteers, (we could find a lot more) because we know that they are there,” Hollowell said. “In the school district there are 850-plus kids that are homeless and we know that there are 1,100 adults that are homeless. How come we are not finding them? We know where they are at. It is now, getting the services to them that we need.”
The number of homeless people in Washington County is yet to be counted, but their appearance is also challenging many stereotypes.
“Homeless doesn’t look like what people think it looks like,” said Sherri Dial, director of community action at the Five County Association of Governments. “People are all the time saying to me, well in St. George we only have one or two homeless people, those old men who are walking; and that is not true. We have so many homeless people …. Most are families, and they work full time. They have jobs.”
While happy to have the volunteers that were able to attend the training, Hollowell said that if there were more volunteers they could reach more people.
“I think that if we had at least 100 more, then we would be able to hit more areas,” Hollowell said. “It puts a burden on those teams to rush through things instead of being able to do the best services that they can at those spots. So the more volunteers we have, the more items we can give back to them, the more services we can help them with. “
The volunteers will be going in teams and completing a survey and documenting each homeless person, and providing them with food, blankets, coats, hats and other services.
Goals of the Point-in-Time campaign also include getting them into shelters and finding what the reason is for the homelessness and helping them overcome it.
“We are not just doing a count to pat ourselves on the back, we want to do the count and give them the services that they want as soon as we can,” Hollowell said.
- Volunteer Center of Washington County | 198 North 100 East in St. George | Telephone 435-674-5757 | Facebook page | Volunteers invited to visit, sign up
Email: [email protected]
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