Friday, 27 January 2023 19:15

OCO Point in Time Count Assess Homelessness

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Above from left are HOPE Housing Advocate Sam Whalen, Program Manager Bre Jackowski, Advocate Dan Holmes, OCO HOPE Housing Program Coordinator Reva Reynolds, Advocate Ellen Cooney, and OCO Board President John Zanewych. Above from left are HOPE Housing Advocate Sam Whalen, Program Manager Bre Jackowski, Advocate Dan Holmes, OCO HOPE Housing Program Coordinator Reva Reynolds, Advocate Ellen Cooney, and OCO Board President John Zanewych. Submitted photo

Homelessness, we hear about it in the big cities but many don’t realize that homelessness exists in cities and rural areas of Oswego County.

To help determine the extent of homelessness in our county Oswego County Opportunities (OCO) in conjunction with the Housing and Homeless Coalition of Central New York recently conducted its annual Point In Time count.

A requirement of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Point In Time count is a count of sheltered and unsheltered people experiencing homelessness on a single night during the last 10 days of January. Point In Time counts are important in that they are useful in establishing the dimensions of the problem of homelessness and help policymakers and program administrators track progress toward the goal of ending homelessness.

“Point In Time canvassing gives us much more than a count of homeless individuals, it’s an excellent opportunity for outreach,” said OCO Homeless Services Coordinator Jill Brzuszkiewicz. “During our canvassing we were able to speak with business owners and community partners and share with them information about homelessness in Oswego County and how they can help by letting them know about the services that are available to those that are homeless and how they may connect someone that is in need to those services.”

Volunteers from a number of OCO partners including; the Oswego County/City Youth Bureau, Farnham Family Services, DSS, SUNY Upstate Medical University, the Housing and Homeless Coalition of Central NY, Densens House, the City of Fulton Police Department, OCO Board Members, community members and other OCO staff canvased areas throughout the county. Traveling in pairs, volunteers searched for people experiencing unsheltered homelessness and help those individuals find shelter for the night and connect them with homeless services that may help find more permanent housing.

For more information on OCO’s Homeless Services call 315- 342-7618 or visit oco.org.

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