Augusta city employees and volunteers conduct survey to count those that are homeless

Augusta city employees and volunteers conduct survey to count those that are homeless

AUGUSTA (WFXG) - This week Augusta City employees as well as many across the country, are walking the streets to get a good estimate of how many people in their communities are homeless.

Hawthorne Welcher, Jr., Director for City of Augusta’s Housing and Community Development, defines homelessness as, “A situation where you’re deserted from the ability to be able to habitat or live to go and reside in a location or place.”

Volunteers, Richmond County Sheriff’s office and others were gathering in the community for the annual Point in Time Count, to see just how many people are living without a place to call home.

“What this does is it allows for HUD on an annual basis to gage the amount of funding that’s necessary to provide housing, shelters, as well as services,” said Welcher.

Services that Crystal Gainey, who’s been homeless for 2 years, says are necessary. “Kids and women would by my biggest thing, because kids need it the most they make the world go round.”

Once the numbers are sent in, the decision will be made on how much funding the city will get in order help those in need. Peggy Brown, a volunteer says there are many resources they need.

“They’re asking for a day shelter, better job programs and connections those have been the biggest needs."

Welcher says there are hundreds of people in the Augusta area that are in need of these resources, “As we indicated on any given night you may have up to a thousand persons then if you start talking about the homeless person in the school systems that ranges from 250-290.”

Volunteers and leaders in the area hope this count will help bring awareness to the the issue of homelessness in Augusta so they can build a better community. “Our society is all interconnected and so one person is no better than the other but if we make everyone great then we make our community better,” said Brown.

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