Government

July count found 297 homeless or near homeless in Linn County

Wednesday will be the next Point-in-Time survey

Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette

Dusty Noble of the Hawkeye Area Community Action Program searches a known location for homeless people — under a bridge near Boyson Road NE — during the July 2016  Point-in-Time survey of homelessness in Cedar Rapids. The July 2017 count found 297 homeless people in Linn County, with the next count scheduled for Wednesday.
Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette Dusty Noble of the Hawkeye Area Community Action Program searches a known location for homeless people — under a bridge near Boyson Road NE — during the July 2016 Point-in-Time survey of homelessness in Cedar Rapids. The July 2017 count found 297 homeless people in Linn County, with the next count scheduled for Wednesday.

CEDAR RAPIDS — The July 2017 count of the homeless population in Cedar Rapids found 297 men, women and children in emergency shelters, transitional housing facilities or living on the street, according to a report released this week by the Linn County Continuum of Care.

For reference, the January 2017 count, conducted overnight on Jan. 25-26, found 397 homeless or near homeless — 111 people living in shelters, 284 in transitional housing and two on the streets.

The Point-in-Time count is a nationwise effort to determine the extent of homelessness in the United States. The counts are taken each year in January and July.

Locally, the count is done by the Linn County Continuum of Care, a group of health, shelter and prevention service providers that help low-income individuals.

Of the 297 individuals counted in July 2017, 147 were children, according to a news release.

Also, 83 individuals were identified as homeless, while another 157 were identified as near-homeless.

Other results show:

• Of the homeless population with children, 41 percent of the households were headed by black females.

• Of the near-homeless population with children, 53 percent of the households were headed by white females.

The Point-in-Time survey also helps to illuminate housing and other needs in the community.

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For the homeless and near-homeless population, respondents said their greatest need was affordable housing, with food as the second greatest need. Clothes and transportation also were listed.

The report showed that more than one-third of the respondents had been evicted at some point, according to the news release.

The January 2018 Point-in-Time count will take place Wednesday.

Those interested in helping with the count can contact Ashley Balius ashley.balius@uweci.org or or Ann Hearn at ann.hearn@linncounty.org.

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