Community Leader Says Point In Time Homeless Count Inaccurate (VIDEO)

By Chris Smurr - 21Alive
By Rachel Martin - 21Alive

June 29, 2014 Updated Jun 29, 2014 at 6:43 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) – It's no secret that homelessness and poverty exist here in Fort Wayne. However, a new "Point In Time" homeless count has some community leaders questioning.

During the last week of January, the State conducts its annual homeless count required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The count shows nearly 6,000 homeless people across the state, with 5,500 staying in shelters or temporary housing and 400 out on the streets.

A total of 381 people are considered homeless in Allen County, according the count. But, the Director of the Rescue Mission says those numbers are far from accurate.

“The Point in Time count didn't really capture the reality of what's going on in our county and especially in our city. In our Rescue Mission we serve close to 1,300 unique individuals and for them to say we have 381 individuals who are homeless that is almost laughable,” said Rev. Donovan Coley, CEO of The Rescue Mission.

“We see the real situation in our community. If you really want to see homeless, come to the Rescue Mission. If you want see homeless, go to other facilities in our community who are serving those individuals. We want our community to know that we have more than 381 persons who are struggling with the crisis of homelessness.”

Coley says, while looking at the problems plaguing the community does help in the short term, finding those solutions together is the most effective tool to address poverty and homelessness.




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