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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Anna Schlecht, Homeless Census Coordinator, 360-753-8183
Steven Briggs, Homeless Connect Manager 360-628-0502

Volunteers Needed for the 2013 Homeless Census to Occur on January 24

OLYMPIA -- The annual homeless census will be conducted in Thurston County on Thursday, January 24, 2012. This effort is part of a nationwide "point in time" count that determines who is homeless, why and what resources are needed to help people get back to independence. The 2013 PIT Homeless Census will feature two Homeless Connect Events, one in Olympia and one in Yelm. These Homeless Connect Events are intended to count people living on the streets and in encampments while at the same time offering basic health, food and social services in a warm environment. These events will be designed as one-stop basic, health and social service centers. "This year's homeless connect event is an exciting new approach for Thurston County." said Theresa Slusher, Thurston County's Homeless Coordinator, "It will allow us to do more than count people, it will allow us to actually help people."

Volunteers are needed to participate in these Homeless Connect Events along with other homeless census activities to be held across Thurston County. Each year, volunteer residents from local schools and colleges, non-profit organizations, faith communities, businesses, elected officials and the homeless themselves to go out on the actual census day to help count the homeless. "The annual homeless census brings people together from all walks of life to work together on the count, but also to better understand the roles we all play in responding to homelessness." said Anna Schlecht, Homeless Census Coordinator. "The better we can all work together, the more people we can help get back on their feet."

The results of this census are compiled into the County's annual "Point in Time Count of Homeless Persons Report", often referred to as the annual homeless census report. This homeless census report serves to:
  • Provide an accurate count of homeless people, the causes of their homelessness and other demographic information;
  • Quantify needs based on numbers of homeless people, which in turn brings in federal and state dollars to provide homeless shelter, transitional housing and other services;
  • Create an assessment of current available resources; and
  • Help with the analysis of the needs and resources to serve as the basis for local strategic responses to homelessness.

For more information on the 2013 Homeless Census or to become involved, please contact:www.sureveymondkey.com/2/homelesscensus2013 or contact,
Anna Schlecht, Homeless Census Coordinator, aschlech@ci.olympia.wa.us 360-753-8183
Steven Briggs, Homeless Connect Manager sbriggs@ci.olympia.wa.us 360-628-0502



County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3