A point in time (PIT) count of the number of homeless residents in Wood, Sandusky, Ottawa, and Seneca counties indicated that the number of homeless persons in 2014 declined from the count in 2013. However, this count, conducted on Jan. 28, was on one of the coldest days of the winter.
The results show that there were 124 individuals who were living in emergency shelters, transitional housing or literally homeless on that day, compared to 150 in 2013.
According to WSOS Support Services Coordinator Ragan Claypool, several factors may have impacted the count this year. Since the count was conducted on possibly the coldest day of the year, many of the area’s homeless could have sheltered with friends and family for the night, and cannot be counted per the HUD guidelines.
Of the 124 homeless, 53 had no shelter, 33 were children, 58 were in transitional housing and 33 were in emergency shelters.
This count is completed annually by organizations which received funding to serve the homeless. It is a requirement of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD requires regularly occurring counts of sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons for communities interested in applying for funding through the Continuum of Care (CoC) application process. WSOS worked with volunteers from the local Homeless Coalitions to conduct the count.
The count for Balance of State (BOS) communities in Ohio is facilitated by the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio (COHHIO), and it is conducted statewide on the same day for the same time period.
WSOS administers grants that aid individuals and families who find themselves homeless. However, the number of people who request assistance annually far outweigh the funding WSOS receives.