Census of Rochester-Area Homeless Is Also Chance to Help
By: Wendy Mills
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Twice a year, a group of volunteers tries to locate and get help for homeless people in Monroe County. This Point in Time census is to document who needs help, and where.
Volunteers, led by Homeless Continum of Care, spent 24 hours looking for people living on the streets and in cars.
They tracked the number of unsheltered homeless, and data collected is used to document and apply for Department of Housing and Urban Development funding for help.
Most of the census work is done overnight when the homeless seek any kind of shelter to sleep. Volunteers look in alleys, behind buildings, at the railroad tracks, bus terminal and in parked cars. They hand out food bags, socks, toothbrushes and a contact list of resources available.
“It takes time for them to see that you care. I am here to get a number but I am here to help you as well,” said Robert De Leon, The Housing Council at Pathstone. “You are someone that is valuable, your life matters, you matter and we are here to help you get to wherever you need to go.”
The homeless census this past summer located 78 people living on the streets or in their cars throughout Monroe County.
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