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Anticipating This Year’s Homeless Count

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Sonora, CA – Now that the fieldwork is in, the results of this year’s survey of outdoor homeless in Tuolumne, Calaveras and Amador counties are due out later this month.

The results, according to Beetle Barbour, housing resources director of the Amador-Tuolumne Community Action Agency (ATCAA) will be instrumental in helping regional agencies shape their response to help provide for the needs of the Mother Lode’s homeless population.

As she explains, “We ask questions about the need, what kind of challenges are you going through. Do you have unmet medical needs…unmet dental needs. We also try to ask questions with some sensitivity about problems that they are living with…[such as] long-term, severe and persistent mental illness and substance abuse disorders.” Since the region is rural, Barbour says field workers had a week, beginning Jan. 28 to scour local camps, train tracks, woods and other wide-ranging areas to gather information.

According to Barbour, ATCAA just received over $314,000 in federal Dept. of Housing and Urban Development funds resulting from last year’s report that focused on homeless living in shelters and program housing. She says that most of the monies will help provide supportive housing to homeless with disabilities.