Residents come together to count homeless population

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Many citizens volunteered to help count the homeless people in the Circle City Saturday morning.

The volunteers started the morning off at the Harbor which consisted of a brief training session and assigning groups before hitting the streets.

Each year, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires a count on the last ten days of January. After the numbers are assembled, the numbers are reported to HUD which will then determine if funding will be increased for homeless people.

Alabama Rural Coalition for Homeless people (ARCH) Program Director Lillian Zaworski says the counting can be difficult due to some of the homeless people having a job.

“Because many of our homeless people work and so they are gone during the week because they’re going to their jobs. People can’t afford housing that doesn’t mean they’re not going to be homeless. They still are working and doing things that other citizens do they just can’t afford a place to live,” Zaworski said.

Although it was an early start Saturday morning, Zaworski is proud of the community and the Dothan organizations involved in the labor.

“The people in Dothan are very giving people and they have been so helpful in our area as far as volunteering and giving. They have made a big difference in getting people off the streets,” She said.

Coming up with a total will take a little time, but the numbers should be finalized by the middle of February.

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