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PNS Daily Newscast - November 11, 2018. 


More than 12-hundred missing in the California wildfires. Also on the Monday rundown: a pair of reports on gun violence in the nation; plus concerns that proposed Green-Card rules favor the wealthy.

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Hard-to-Find Folks Make Ohio Homeless Count a Challenge

January 26, 2010

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Volunteers in Ohio and across the country will spend one night this week counting and surveying homeless people, on the streets, in shelters and at soup kitchens, and even in jails. It's a U.S. census, of sorts, for those without addresses. In last year's one-night count, the Ohio total was over 12,000.

Erica Mulryan, who is the housing and services coordinator with the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio, says the count itself is a difficult task, as the homeless population generally wants to remain hidden.

"The reality is that there's just really no other way to get at the number of unsheltered homeless in particular, other than to simply go out on the street, try to find people, and count heads."

Mulryan says locating homeless people isn't the only challenge to an accurate count. Inclement weather, the number of volunteers and potential for duplication can also be problematic. Also, the count likely won't reflect a growing category of homeless people, those staying with relatives or friends temporarily, after a foreclosure or job loss.

The one-night count is used by the federal government to develop housing policies and allocate money for service providers to the homeless. Critics say it is unscientific, but Neil Donovan, who heads the National Coalition for the Homeless, calls it an important tool nonetheless.

"If we are to aim towards the goal of ending homelessness, with the assumption that it is caused by a lack of affordable and accessible housing and jobs that pay a living wage, we need to know what the size of the population is."

Most communities in Ohio will do their one-night counts tonight and the results should be released this spring.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH