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Health and Medicine


Canton counts the homeless during a bitterly cold point-in-time
Census count helps determine aid to the community serving homeless people
by WKSU's TIM RUDELL


Reporter
Tim Rudell
 
In The Region:

They’re doing the “Point-In-Time” count in Stark County and the rest of Ohio this week. It’s kind of like checking a thermometer to see where things stand. But instead of just measuring hot or cold, this count aims at better helping people.  WKSU’s Tim Rudell reports.

LISTEN: Homeless count in the worst of weather

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Being homeless is bad no matter when, no matter where…but this time of year in this part of the country, it can be deadly.

That’s why in this fierce cold, agencies, churches, charities, and just people who care in northeast Ohio are trying to get everyone indoors.  Of course, sheltering the needy costs. And the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development gives money to organizations to help…based on how many needy there are. Thus, the “Point-In-Time” count.

Duane Wykoff heads “Refuge of Hope” in downtown Canton and says the count there is going into the data for D.C. too—even though the Refuge won’t get any money in return.

“We’re funded by churches, by some businesses and foundations, we’re funded by individuals, We are funded by people that have a passion for serving people who live on kind of the margins of society.”

Wykoff says regardless of whether it benefits his organization directly, helping get a truer count of the needy is important because it can lead to better funding for homeless services overall.
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