Two times a year volunteers sweep the streets across the state in an effort to count those who don't have a place to sleep at night. NBC26 breaks down what was discovered last night in their annual count locally and how non-profits are attempting to bring those numbers down.
It's been a rather mild winter but any warming or homeless shelter will tell you discovering even one person on the streets at night rather than in a shelter, is one too many.
About 475 people are homeless in Brown County utilizing shelters. But so many others may not be noticed. On Wednesday night volunteers actively searched for those without a home.
"Last night we found ten people in our community that didn't have anywhere to stay," says Ashley Kohls a Case Manager at St. Vincent DePaul.
And everyone they encountered they directed to the Central Church in Green Bay. On the fourth Thursday of every month from noon till 2pm they hold a housing resource day for Brown County folks searching for affordable housing. This is a place where anyone can get lined up with housing assistance.
"We do have services here that offer first month’s rental assistance and a security deposit... We can try and help them make a good long term plan and get them into permanent housing," adds Kohls.
In the Fox Cities it's really no different. Wednesday night they did a count too.
"Last night we found five people who were unsheltered in the community," says Jennifer Dieder the Community Relations Director at Homeless Connections.
But another 320 in the Fox Cities were warm last night and put up in a shelter. Something places like Homeless Connections says is why they do the counts and outreach in the first place.
"I think overall we're fortunate that we don't have a large unsheltered population and that we're still sheltering well over 300 people at night," adds Dieder.
Which really goes to show that a “point in time count” of the homeless in our community is much more, than just seeing how prevalent the reality has become.
Cash donations, volunteers and renters, that's what non-profits say they rely on most to help the homeless in our community this time of year. If you are interested in making a difference in your community non-profits say reach out to your local shelter to find out what you can do to help
In July another point in time count will be conducted, most of the time with much higher numbers. Those numbers are in turn handed over to the Federal government used to determine what type of funding the fed’s will provide.