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OTWCAC to coordinate mandated statewide count of homeless

Otter Tail-Wadena Community Action Council, Inc. announced it would be participating in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) annual Point-in-Time Count of person without shelter on the night of Jan. 26, 2011.

HUD has a vested interest in getting a "snapshot" of what homelessness looks like in every region of the nation. HUD provides federal funding to over 6,000 homeless programs in the U.S. and the results from the Point-In-Time count demonstrate how much need is in each region. The federal funding dollars that come into Otter Tail and Wadena County depends on our need and the result of the Point-In-Time Count will determine that need.

A count of unsheltered homeless people will be conducted based on their use of services, such as food shelves, social service agencies, emergency service agencies and outreach programs. People sleeping in places not meant for daily living, such as fish houses, garages, campers or vehicles, abandoned buildings or houses that are without a necessary utility can be counted as homeless.

The January 2010 count found 104 persons without shelter or sleeping on couches in "doubled up" circumstances in Otter Tail and Wadena Counties. OTWCAC anticipated a higher count this year based on recent assistance requests.

Contact OTWCAC from Jan. 26 through Feb. 4 if you know of homeless people to be included.

For additional information on the Continuum of Care, the HUD point-in-time count or regional homeless statistics contact Diane Leaders, OTWCAC family services director at (800) 450-2900 or