Gloucester Housing Partnership volunteer George Neal, left, and Gloucester Sheriff’s deputy Rob Richmond approach one of the areas several homeless individuals were expected to be staying during the Point in Time Count, which was conducted in Gloucester Jan. 28.
A recent count confirmed that there is an issue of homelessness in Gloucester.
Members of several community organizations participated in the Point in Time Count, an inventory of sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons on a single night in January. The Gloucester count was conducted in late January and asked the homeless where they planned to shelter the night of Jan. 30.
Samaritan Group of Gloucester vice president Bill Fulton and George Neal, a volunteer with the Gloucester Housing Partnership, were accompanied by Gloucester Sheriff’s deputy Rob Richmond. The three men spent about six hours on the morning of Jan. 28 canvassing the county in areas where they suspected the homeless to be sheltering.
Fulton said seven homeless adults and two homeless children were approached that day and asked to fill out a survey, which posed questions about where they would sleep the night of Jan. 30, how long they have been homeless, their primary reason(s) for being homeless and other details. Data from the surveys is compiled locally and nationally to inform programs and planning for those in need.
Fulton and Neal said the seven adults located during the count represent only a small number of those who actually may be homeless in the community. For example, many homeless seek temporary shelter with the Laurel Shelter or with the newly-formed GUEST (Gloucester United Emergency Shelter Team).