A number of volunteers recently visited shelters, camps and other hard-to-reach areas in Pender, Brunswick and New Hanover counties to collect a 24-hour snapshot of the region’s homeless population. The data collected from this annual Point-in-Time Count will be used to determine funding to help expand housing opportunities.
Kate Murphy of CoastalCare revealed that last year’s Count of 398 was lower than the previous year, however the data shows an increase in people who face housing obstacles because of substance abuse, mental health and legal issues.
According to Murphy, the Count determines how much state and federal funding will be dispersed through the county and local housing agencies.
“That’s the smaller, more detailed demographics that we’re looking for so we can put funding into services to lead folks toward recovery,” said Murphy. “That’s where this information is important in where we can put the funding [and] how we can serve these harder-to-house individuals.”
Murphy also added that since the Count only covers a 24-hour period, it doesn’t mirror the entire homeless population in the tri-county region.