Missouri Homeless Connect Project

Published 01/29 2014 06:25PM

Updated 01/29 2014 07:18PM

JOPLIN, MO.--- A project called "Homeless Connect" took place today in Joplin. Numbers equal money when it comes to helping the homeless, so today was pretty much a counting day. The Economic Security Corporation and Central Christian Center partnered up to try to get a handle on the issue in the Joplin metro area. 

"You know it helps us get a good idea of how many people locally are homeless," said Tammy Walker, Economic Security Corporation. 

It's a point-in-time count, conducted county by county and statewide. The Economic Security Corporation counts shelter and unsheltered individuals who are homeless.

"Whether they are staying in a shelter or staying on the street, that helps us with numbers, with grants to show the need in our area. As well as plan for services that we either need more of or a plain need," said Walker. 

The count is done twice a year, once in January and then again in July. This helps bring awareness to the general public about the homeless population in the State of Missouri and helps connect the homeless with shelters.

"The event draws people out. It's a one stop shop opportunity for people who are experiencing homelessness to come out and talk to people about housing. A number of different providers are out here today," said Walker. 

John Losa is currently living in a transition home. He is looking for a job and is thankful for resources like the Chance Program. 

"It teaches you how to never give up. It teaches you how to find a job. Questions they ask you during an interview and stuff like that, it's a great program, really is," said Josh Losa, Chance Student. 

The count will help provide more services for the homeless just like the Chance Program. Numbers for today's count haven't been released, but during last July's count, there are around 300 to 400 individuals who are either staying in local shelters or homeless.

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