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Brighton Center counts homeless to get grant money
NEWPORT, Ky. (Adam Clements) -- Dozens of volunteers are performing an annual count of local homeless people. The count in Kentucky serves as a federal census to determine how much grant money shelters and homeless centers will receive in the coming year. They've been out since midnight. The outreach teams are all across three northern counties in the state of Kentucky.
They're scouring what they've determined to be hot spots, places where the homeless tend to hang out and set up shop. They're looking under bridges, in libraries and fast food restaurants, basically anywhere these folks routinely go to escape the elements which right now are extremely harsh.
They'll be out in the streets until midnight Wednesday. The goal is to get an accurate count to report to the state. That, in turn, will go back into places like the Brighton Center, all for the greater good of helping and serving the state's homeless.
The bitter cold may hamper their efforts. "That's a big factor because normally we might find 20 to 30 people on the riverbank but on a night when it's this cold they might find a place to sleep, so whether it's at a friend or a relative's house or in a hallway somewhere they're not supposed to be sleeping, you know just to get out of the cold and get some shelter," says Jarrett Spisak of the Brighton Center.
The teams have the tough task of identifying the homeless. It's not always the easiest, most comfortable thing to do. But they're coming equipped. They have care packages with hats, gloves, MREs and a survey they fill out with each person they count to get a better handle on their situation. That helps them come up with a solution to get them off the street.
This survey is nationwide. States have a two week window in which to make their count.
Last year, volunteers and Brighton Center staff counted nearly four hundred homeless in Kenton, Boone and Campbell Counties.