Thursday, January 21, 2010

Volunteers Needed to Survey Homeless Population

Posted By on Thu, Jan 21, 2010 at 8:45 AM

Next week, the city of Memphis will be doing a count of the area homeless population. But this year, they're doing things a little differently.

First, the count will happen during the day in an effort to survey more of the homeless.

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It also will include a small survey to learn demographic data about the population so that "services can be better tailored and coordinated to fit the greatest need areas and better address gaps in services," according to the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center's Brad Watkins.

And, finally, it will not include members of the police department.

But that means they need volunteers to help in the process.

"For the most part, the homeless don't want to be found by the police," Watkins wrote on his Facebook page. "Now while many officers in MPD have a good rapport with those on the streets, it is more productive in my view not to have police down in front on this."

The count itself will be in two shifts Wednesday, January 27th, from 5 a.m. to 11 a.m and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is also a brief mandatory training session for volunteers that will be held at Les Passes, 715 St. Paul Avenue, TOMORROW, January 22nd, at 3 p.m.

The Mid-South Peace and Justice Center is also gathering coats and blankets to distribute during the count. To learn more, email Watkins at brad@midsouthpeace.org.

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