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Friday, January 23, 2009

Counting Thoes Who Often Don't Count

Homeless Census
Bundled to ward off the occasional Southern California drizzle a woman pushing a shopping cart on the streets of down town San Bernardino is stopped not by a cop wanting to move her along, but by another woman who just wants to talk. San Bernardino County Supervisor, Jose Gonzales, spends time talking with her until her team mates press her to move on and continue the hunt. Teams of volunteers fan-out across San Bernardino County in a one night effort to count the homeless population. Gonzales along with the Mayor of San Bernardino, Pat Morris, San Bernardino City Police Officer Marci Atkins and approximately 700 others, spend their Thursday night to scour the city in search of finding people living on the streets. They volunteer their time for a cause that will ultimately help those being rousted from their spots of relative shelter.
In order to receive grant money from the government the county must count those who are difficult to find.
The San Bernardino County Office of Homeless Services and Homeless Partnership conduct a "Point-in-Time" bi-annual census count of the counties homeless population, late Friday night, Jan. 22, 2009. The census is to help determine the need for services and allow agencies to apply for federal funding. This count is mandated by the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.
As Mayor Morris approaches a man in the dark to ask if he would answer a few questions, Moses Sanchez hesitates in an uneasy manor at first to see if he is in any trouble. Sanchez is street savvy after four years but is quickly impressed to find the Mayor is out this late evening to talk with him.

Homeless Census

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