Key count coming

To the Journal editor:

Every January, more than 400 Continuum of Care planning bodies, covering over 3,000 cities and counties across the nation, will organize tens of thousands of volunteers in a national effort to measure the scale of homelessness in the Unites States.

This count measures the number of homeless persons in shelters and on the streets at a single point-in-time. The Point-In-Time count for Marquette and Alger Counties will be conducted Wednesday from midnight to 11:59 p.m.

Achieving an accurate count is essential for securing funding and support for our agencies in developing our response.

Locally, the effort is being coordinated by the Alger-Marquette Continuum of Care and will involve over forty local agencies and law enforcement departments. Defining the extent of rural homelessness presents a significant challenge in that there are no formal homeless shelters excepting the city of Marquette’s Room at the Inn.

“Couch surfing” in the most common form of homelessness in our area. In those cases, the homeless person or family may not necessarily be connected with an agency. Those are the cases where more help is needed.

If someone is aware that a person or family is in need, you can call Community Action at the number above and the CoC can help to have them included.

Finally, if you are homeless, you can also come to a lunch on Wednesday at the Warming Center in Marquette, 447 W. Washington St., or leave a message for the Warming Center Manager, Mary Jane Lynch at 906-225-1521.