MEASURING HOMELESSNESS IN CHELAN, DOUGLAS COUNTIES TO BE HELD JAN. 26

Chelan Valley HOPE in Chelan will cover the Chelan Valley, Northern Douglas County

CHELAN/WENATCHEE - Chelan County and community partners will conduct the annual Homeless Point in Time Count from 7 a.m.-2 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 26, at the YWCA in Wenatchee, 212 First St.  The information gathered annually by local municipalities and nonprofits participating in the national event demonstrates the need in communities across the country for homeless housing services, based on the number of people experiencing homelessness on the day of the Point in Time count, explained Sasha Sleiman, Chelan County housing program coordinator and a coordinator of the outreach event.  “That information then will be used to help local policymakers make better informed decisions to help remedy our growing need for affordable housing,” Sleiman said. “Doing this event annually gives us the ability to compare our results year over year, potentially giving us an indication of where we are headed as a community.”  Surveys conducted by outreach teams aim to collect information on individual’s living situations, including how long someone has been without a permanent home, where they sleep, where they are from, and whether or not they had been denied access to a shelter or would go to a shelter if available. Demographic questions are also asked, including age, race, gender, veteran status, the number of children under 18 in the household, and if they were fleeing domestic violence.  In addition to the centralized event at the YWCA in Wenatchee, staff from various nonprofits who work with the unhoused population will be going out throughout Chelan and Douglas counties to speak to people on the street and provide them resources. Chelan Valley HOPE in Chelan will cover the Chelan Valley and Northern Douglas County and Upper Valley MEND in Leavenworth will cover the Cascade School District service area and Cashmere. Upper Valley MEND will also have a centralized site for people in the upper valley to be interviewed and get connected to services at the Community Cupboard, 219 14th St. in Leavenworth.  At this event in 2022, 163 people were interviewed. Of those interviewed, 123 people were unsheltered, meaning they were living out of doors, in a vehicle or RV, in an abandoned building, or in a tent or other outdoor area not meant for habitation. In addition, 275 people were recorded staying in emergency shelters, transitional housing programs or in a hotel through an emergency hotel/motel voucher program.  The local event also allows housing services providers and other service-based non-profits an opportunity to communicate directly with people in need of their services while providing resources, including backpacks, gloves, socks, hand warmers, food and more, to those in need who participated in the survey. The backpacks full of supplies are being provided by Community Action Council, in partnership with Chelan County.  The Columbia Valley Community Health Mobile Clinic will be on site at the YWCA to provide access to medical professionals for those who needing medical services and to provide flu and COVID-19 vaccines to those who request them.

 

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