Northern Kentucky counting its homeless

By Regina Russo – bio | email

COVINGTON, KY (FOX19) - Eight counties in Northern Kentucky are counting its homeless.

The Northern Kentucky Area Development District and NorthKey Community Care are coordinating an effort to count homeless men, women and children living in shelters, on the streets, and other places not meant for human habitation.

The count will also include precariously housed Northern Kentuckians, defined as people living in substandard housing conditions, doubled- or tripled-up with family or friends, or expecting eviction within seven days.

The count helps determine how much funding will be available for homeless assistance in the state. In addition, the count helps assess progress under Kentucky's "Ten-Year Plan to End Homelessness" and provides important information for updating the plan.

Social worker Marlene Gerding's opening line is usually, "are you looking for work or housing?" For some people who spend their days here as a shelter to the cold like Orville Neace, it's a welcome introduction.

"She came asked me if I need employment, God bless her, I do, maybe she can help me," said Neace.

"We need to know where folks are either rural or urban so we can get the federal funding that's allowed to support them in the services they'll need for next year," said Gerding.

For providing basic information, Orville learns about the resources that could help him now, and get items he'll need right now.

"I think people need to know that more people are out there than they think you'd be impressed how many, they are their own little communities," said Neace.

The count took place from midnight to midnight on Jan. 28 at numerous locations throughout Northern Kentucky, including homeless shelters and city streets.

If you think this count sounds like the Census, it's not. They'll have their own count in March.

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