For the City Times
WISCONSIN RAPIDS — You might think homelessness doesn’t exist in south Wood County, but it does. Many of our local homeless are “couch surfing,” or staying with different family members and friends, never knowing where they will end up tonight.
In 2017, partners of the south Wood County Homelessness coalition reported that 702 individuals received housing assistance. During the 2017 Stuff the School Bus event, it was learned that of the 787 students who received free school supplies, 23 were considered homeless (in a shelter or foster care; in a motel, car or campsite; in transitional housing; with another family; with friends or family members; or living on their own.)
North Central Community Action Program coordinates a semi-annual Homeless Point in Time (PIT) Count and partners with the south Wood County Homelessness Coalition and United Way of Inner Wisconsin’s Volunteer Center to recruit volunteers to assist with the count. The PIT Count is a statistically reliable, unduplica ted count of people experiencing homelessness during a designated one-night period.
In Wisconsin, PIT Counts are conducted on the fourth Wednesday of January and July. It captures a snap shot of what homelessness looks like in a community and is reported in the Annual Homelessness Assessment Report that is provided to the US Congress.
The next PIT Count is scheduled for 11:00pm on Jan. 24 until 3:00 a.m on Jan. 25 starting at North Central Community Action Program (2111 8th St. S. #102, Wisconsin Rapids – behind Pizza Hut). We are looking for seven teams of 3-4 volunteers who will be assigned a section of south Wood County. Volunteers will conduct interviews with participating homeless people and offer resources to help.
• Must be 18 years old
• Must attend a training at 10:30pm, January 24th at North Central Community Action Program
• Must fill out an application
• Needs to be able to walk long distances
• May need to provide transportation for your group
• Bring a flashlight and dress appropriately
Homelessness does exist in our community but we can do something about it. And becoming a volunteer is an excellent way to begin! To register online, click HERE: http://www.volunteerinnerwisc.