By BROOKE SNAVELY
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY
The annual Point-in-Time Count of people experiencing homelessness in Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson counties is underway this week.
The count is part of a state and national effort to identify the number of homeless in our region and will provide the most up-to-date information about the number of people in Central Oregon who are struggling to find adequate housing.
Last year’s count identified 880 homeless in Central Oregon. This year, volunteers expect to find more.
“We’re here to count people who may be living without housing so that we can bring in federal dollars and identify the kinds of housing that should be built here that would be more in line with the type of people who are going without housing,” said Allison McKinney, Homeless Leadership Coalition
Central Oregon Veterans Outreach volunteers talked with around a half dozen people sleeping outdoors or in cars or RV’s without full hookups at this camp, just east of Redmond.
“With some of the individuals that we meet, we refer them to services. Hopefully they will reach out and actually connect with those services,” said Patty Gaskins, Bend Treatment Center outreach coordinator
McKinney is coordinating the point in time count in Redmond where, for the first time, a resource fair was held at the VFW hall.
Transients were invited for a meal, clothes and a haircut in exchange for participating in an anonymous and confidential survey.
“We’ve had a few people come in and participate in the PIT count but also ask about resources and services that are available that may help them find housing.”