Homeless Count

January 30, 2009

Last night I had the opportunity to participate in the 2009 Homeless Count.  It’s something that’s done every couple of years and it’s mandated by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  There’s a lot that goes into the process and a lot that comes out as a result of the count.  More interestingly, though, is the look you see in someone’s eyes when they are actually telling you about their homeless situation.  Sure, this count is used in some ways to simply quantify the Homeless, but it ends up being a much different experience for the counters.
As I was talking over my experience with my supervisor this morning, she told me that no matter how long she’s been working with the homeless population, it never ceases to shake her when someone is litterally living outside. 
There is great frustration in speaking to a homeless gentleman and him telling you that he doesn’t want to participate in the count because he’s been on the street for 15 years, filled out innumerable surveys and his situation hasn’t changed in the least.  That’s terribe, but the fact remains that after talking to that guy, I went home, got in my bed, checked my email on my $200 handheld ipod touch, and fell asleep warm and comfortable.  Meanwhile, he slept in the stairwell of a parking garage less than 5 miles away.
I can’t begin to understand his frustrations.

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One Response to “Homeless Count”

  1. kgclements said

    See your last post. Do something to better what you saw during the homeless count with the money you wanted to spend on something that you really don’t need.

    Thank you for smacking me in the face with this story this morning!

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