Homeless Count Helps Bring Dollars To Garden City

Augusta's homeless population to be counted for federal dollars

Augusta, GA – More people will be walking the streets of Augusta later to help provide services for those permanently living outdoors.  It happens every year.  The Point-In-Time Count takes place at midnight early Tuesday, in an effort to determine how many are part of the homeless population.

Many of them have no place to go on a permanent basis.  So, they wander the streets.

“Trying to find homeless folks that we can count, gather information about and provide information to them about the resources that are available in the Augusta community that could help,” said Jeanette Gilles, Director of Collaborative Services for Augusta-Aiken Warrior Project.

Gilles will join about 40 people for the count.  The day-long anonymous survey aims to bring resources to the Garden City that will help the very people being counted.

She explained, “That’s how we notify the government of the number of people we have in our area that need federal funding.”

Gilles explained the numbers will go to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which in turn provides federal dollars.

Volunteers will be armed with small bags. It will include food, toiletries and something to keep the homeless warm.

“Hats and gloves and snacks and proving them with phone numbers letting them know what shelters are available,” Gilles said, adding they will also receive a card explaining the city’s 211 system.

Salvation Army Major Tony Perez told us as we get more into winter months, he expects the shelter to remain at capacity.

“We have been running about 126 to 130 percent capacity, which is not normal,” Major Perez said.

He added the count is especially crucial so the organization committed to doing the most good can tap into more grant dollars.

“A large amount of money, $40-45,000 from the city through government funding to be able to provide housing to the homeless and help provide food and shelter for them,” he said.

While out there, AWP plans to focus on identifying homeless veterans to give them tailor made resources too.

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