Homeless Focus of Initiative
An increasing number of homeless people continue to search for a place to settle for the night, even in affluent Moore County.
In September, an informal survey revealed a total of 208 homeless individuals in Moore County.
Joey Raczkowski, county planning director, told the Moore County Board of Commission-ers last week that it was the largest total for the county since attention was first focused on homelessness a couple of years ago.
“It’s getting worse,” added Tim Emmert, community development planner with the Moore County Department of Planning and Community Development. “It’s not a problem that’s going away soon.”
Emmert coordinates the county’s efforts on homeless issues.
Among the 208 homeless people were 103 individuals in 72 families, with children enrolled in the Moore County public schools, Emmert reported. The others were of all ages.
In a report given to the commissioners, Raczkowski said that several agencies are sharing their “capacity to successfully transition homeless persons to housing.” A 2009 survey covered, at its peak, 16 agencies and counted 121 instances of homelessness in November.
The subject arose at the board’s Nov. 1 meeting with release of a proclamation designating Nov. 14-20 as Homeless Awareness Week.
The proclamation, which was adopted by the commissioners, says that the informal survey taken in 2009 found 1,110 instances of homelessness in Moore County.
The survey polled the Moore County public schools, medical institutions and shelters in the area.
Three nonprofits are mentioned. Family Promise of Moore County, an interfaith provider of shelter and case management to homeless families, served 19 families with 49 children in 2009. Friend to Friend, a nonprofit serving women in domestic violence situations, provided shelter at Haven House for 130 women and children in 2009.
The Coalition for Human Care met the emergency needs of 3,323 households and 61 homeless persons in 2009. The coalition is a nonprofit that coordinates the efforts of more than 70 area churches and 300 volunteers.
Raczkowski said that a website has been developed to illustrate the problem. It is illustrated with photographs of three examples of homelessness: a mother of a newborn baby, a young family and a veteran. The Web address is www.iamthefaceofthehomeless.org.
Moore County has joined a regional continuum of care with Anson, Rich-mond and Montgomery counties, known as ARMM (initials for each of the counties).
ARMM, according to Raczkowski, is the only continuum of care in North Carolina providing such accountability and openness. It periodically issues reports on its activities to the counties.
Among the measures undertaken through this initiative is investing federal funds (from the U.S. Department of Houseing and Urban Development) in a program with a free market approach to shelter. One example is issuing vouchers for housing in private homes maintained by private property owners.
Contact Florence Gilkeson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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