CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – The United Way of Harrison and Doddridge Counties began its annual point-in-time (PIT) homelessness count on Wednesday.
The count is mandated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The count will help identify how many people struggle with homelessness. This helps measure the needs for services in the homeless community. Director of housing and communications at the local United Way, Marissa Rexroad, said that Harrison County is one of the counties that consistently struggle with homelessness.
“We have a very high rate of folks who experience homelessness here in Harrison County, a high rate of folks experiencing unsheltered homelessness in Harrison County. We’re usually somewhere in the top three in terms of unsheltered, and we’ve had one of the highest sheltered numbers throughout the state, consistently,” Rexroad detailed.
Most years, the PIT count is a community-wide endeavor. Normally, volunteers help make sure every person is counted. However, due to COVID guidelines, Rexroad said she had to cut back and do the count only with people who work with the United Way. On her way around the counties, she and her team stop in a number of potential hazardous areas that could be prone to COVID-19. Because of this, the group had to be kept lighter.
The count will continue until Thursday, January 28, at 3:59 p.m. Then, there will be a 14-day window where Rexroad can make sure the numbers she collects on the count are accurate.