UPDATE: Harrison Co. Point-In-Time count concludes

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UPDATE: (1/24/2019) Harrison Co. concluded its “point-in-time” homeless count Thursday morning.

According to program director Stephanie Sumpter, the unofficial number of homeless surveyed inside of Clarksburg and Shinnston was nine.

Data on the number of homeless persons is submitted to the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development.

“For years there was a veteran that was staying outside and staying in a building. So finally last year we were out for the point and time count we were able to get him into the shelter and then ultimately get him into our permanent supportive housing program and he’s no longer out on the streets,” said Stephanie Sumpter, corrdinator premanent supportive housing program. 

Homelessness effects communities across the nation but groups of volunteers go out once a year to get a grasp of the homeless population. In Harrison County, the effort is put on through partnerships between the West Virginia to End homelessness, Homes for Harrison County and the Clarksburg-Harrison Regional Housing Authority.

“We go out and get a count of all the unsheltered homeless individuals and families  that may be staying outside or just places that are not meant for human habitation, under bridges, I mean we look everywhere,” said Sumpter.

Wednesday night, groups loaded up with supplies such as toiletries and sleeping bags as they prepare to head out in the community. From Shinnston to downtown Clarksburg, groups of volunteers surveyed the area. Information on various services offered in the community also traveled with the volunteers; such as substance abuse, or mental health services, and housing programs.

“It’s a nation wide count, everybody across the nation does this. It is a 24 hour snapshot,” said Sumpter. 

Data on the number of homeless persons and areas of interest is submitted to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Information like this can be used to fund housing programs.

“All the information does get submitted to HUD that just gives them an idea where funding can be used. And it also gives us a chance to get out and connect with those that are staying outside, So we can provide that to them to help them to try to get off the streets and get into housing,” said Sumpter. 

For community members who couldn’t come out and search Homes for Harrison County accepts tips and calls for questions. 

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