CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – A Point-In-Time Unsheltered Count was conducted Wednesday night and is part of a national snapshot of the sheltered and unsheltered homeless population on a night in January.
The count is mandated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development with counts taking place across the country. Volunteers gathered for the count behind Julio’s in the Glen Elk area of Clarksburg.
Those volunteers took off on foot checking dumpsters, abandoned buildings, and alleys to count the homeless population and ensure their safety.
“Getting them the information is important, and just talking to them and making them feel comfortable, and knowing we’re out there to help them,” said Stephanie Sumpter, Permanent Supportive Housing Specialist for the Clarksburg Harrison Regional Housing Authority.
“And we want to help them, and we want to help the, and we provide them with personal hygiene items, and we’ve got sleeping bags, and blankets, and things like that, you know, to say thank you for your time to provide us with that information, and to give them the services and the things that they need to help them get back on their feet and to conquer through the barriers that they may have encountered.”
Statistics from the West Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness state that there are currently approximately 119 people who are homeless in Harrison County.
“Outreach to this population is really important in helping those folks to be aware of the services that are available to help them exit homelessness. I think that this is just a really good opportunity to make connections with those folks who are experiencing unsheltered homelessness,” Marissa Rexroad, a resident of Bridgeport.
Housing Inventory Count is a Point-In-Time inventory of provider programs with a community care that provides beds and units dedicated to serve people experiencing homelessness.
Data gathered from the Point-In-Time count and the Housing Inventory Count are submitted to HUD through an online data submission form.