Help sought for counting homeless in Thurston County

Staff writerJanuary 9, 2014 

Volunteers are needed for Thurston County’s point-in-time Homeless Census, set for Jan. 23.

This year’s event will include resource fairs in Olympia and Yelm, where folks can get hot meals, warm clothing, coats and information on social services.

Results of the census help guide local, state and federal funding decisions for transitional housing, shelters and other services.

“Every year, across the country, communities do a census of their homeless,” said coordinator Anna Schlecht. “That’s the only way we can learn who’s homeless and why. We need the best possible data to make sure we support the best possible programs.”

The census is coordinated by the city of Olympia under a contract with Thurston County, she said. Last year, 686 people were counted.

“That’s a significant drop from an all-time high in 2010 of 976,” Schlecht said.

The Olympia resource fair will be from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at First Christian Church, 701 Franklin St. SE; times for the Yelm event have not been set, but it will be at the Yelm Community Services Center, 624 Crystal Springs Road NW, Yelm.

For more information, call Krosbie Carter at 360-753-8062 or Schlecht at 360-753-8183.

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