Weber, Davis counties need volunteers to help find and count the homeless

Thursday , January 18, 2018 - 5:15 AM

MARK SAAL, Standard-Examiner Staff

Weber and Davis counties are again looking for volunteers to help find and survey homeless populations in their communities.

The annual Point-in-Time count — mandated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for communities receiving federal homeless assistance grants — attempts to document those living in shelters or on the streets in the United States. Each year on the last Thursday, Friday and Saturday of January, teams of volunteers all over the country help with the homeless survey. This year’s count takes place Jan. 25-27.

In a news release from the Davis County Commission Office, organizers stressed the importance of the annual accounting.

“This is an opportunity for people who have a desire to make a difference in the lives of individuals and families experiencing homelessness,” according to Heidi Patterson, director of residential services at Safe Harbor Crisis Center, which helps conduct the Davis County PIT count. “And it’s an opportunity for the homeless to know that in Davis County, everyone counts.”

Weber County sees dramatic increase in volunteers for homeless count

For the Davis County count, volunteers must pre-register at volunteermatch.org or justserve.org or by calling 801-444-3191. Participants are expected to attend a two-hour training session at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 24 in the Safe Harbor Crisis Center at 225 N. Adamswood Road in Layton. The actual count will take place from 3:30-7 a.m. all three days. Volunteers are also needed from 5:30-7:30 a.m. to help returning count teams and assist with a free breakfast provided to all volunteers.

Sleepless in Davis County: Hunting for the homeless

In Weber County, volunteers are required to sign up at 2018pit.wufoo.com/forms/z1iuzaqp1p3beph/ or justserve.org or by calling 801-399-8691. A mandatory one-hour training session for volunteers will be at 5 p.m. Jan 23 in the Weber Human Services building at 237 26th St. in Ogden. The count will be conducted from 4-6 a.m. on the three days.

Refreshments will be provided at both counties’ training sessions, and breakfast will be served to volunteers on the days of the count.

Organizers of the local PIT counts say they’re in need of more volunteers this year, as the number of homeless may have increased in the wake of Salt Lake City’s latest homeless program, Operation Rio Grande.

Contact Mark Saal at 801-625-4272 or msaal@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @Saalman. Friend him on Facebook at Facebook.com/MarkSaal.

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