WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Officials across the Mahoning Valley took a count of the area’s homeless population on Tuesday night.
Every year, the count is led by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which has communities across the nation participate on the final Tuesday of January. These counts are used to
determine how much money will be distributed to the state’s homeless shelters.
About 25 volunteers in Trumbull County went to shelters, such as the Warren Family Mission. Others searched where people aren’t supposed to be living.
Jean Orsuto is the chairperson for Point in Time — the group which organizes the searches. Orsuto said abandoned buildings, under bridges and truck stops are other locations they will be searching.
Trumbull County’s Point in Time counted 109 homeless people last year — 100 of which were found in shelters and nine on the streets.
Those counting on Tuesday night left SCOPE of Trumbull County, an organization that provides support to senior citizens in need, with a bag of hygiene products, such as toothbrushes and toothpaste. They also handed out scarves and contact information for a taxi driver.
“Our goal is, if we find someone tonight to get them in a shelter,” Orsuto said. “We wouldn’t leave them in the streets.”
Orsuto said the Department of Housing and Urban Development requires the count during winter, making it even more difficult to find people while searching.
“In the wintertime, friends and family may take family in. They’re harder to find,” Orsuto said.
Crews began their search at 6 p.m. Tuesday, and they were expected to be out until early Wednesday morning.