ARCH begins 2021 homeless count in Dothan this weekend

Starting January 22nd if you are or know of someone who is homeless call (855)810-2724.
Published: Jan. 20, 2021 at 5:36 PM CST
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - The Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires a homeless count during the last ten days of January.

Last year Dothan had 83 homeless people among the 13 tent cities, the question of will the number be increased or decreased this year remains. The Alabama Rural Coalition for the Homeless said for now that is unknown.

HUD wants a homeless count this year more than ever to see how the pandemic has affected the street homeless population.

“Whether or not people are taking people in, so they are not on the street, or are more people on the street because of Covid and they don’t have a job,” Lillian Zaworski, ARCH program director, said.

This year the homeless count will have adjustments due to the pandemic. They will provide N95 masks for those taking part in the count and enforce social distancing.

“We won’t be taking any kind of chances,” Zaworski said.

Dothan is the only city of the 42 rural counties ARCH serve that will be going out to do street count this year. From January 22nd through January 31st data will be collected to understand the changes in trends among homeless populations and raise public awareness about the issue of homelessness.

The focus being transitioning these people out of homelessness.

“Whether they are in an emergency shelter, whether a charitable organization has them in a hotel, or they’re on the street in their car, at a camp site,” Zaworski said. “Somewhere that’s not fit for habitation or not meant for human habitation on a regular basis.”

There is no volunteer sign-up process this year. If you want to volunteer in this years homeless count be at The Harbor by 10 a.m. on Saturday.

“There is a population of homeless no matter where you go and Dothan is no exception,” Zaworski said.

The other 41 counties ARCH serves are distributing fliers for people to call the ARCH office for the count and surveying those who come into their agencies for assistance.

Starting January 22nd if you are or know of someone who is homeless call (855)810-2724.

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