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Volunteers needed to help with Jan. 23 annual homeless count

Snohomish County needs help during its annual Point In Time homeless count Thursday, Jan. 23.

Volunteers are asked to commit to a three-hour period between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Jan. 23. Training and materials are provided and volunteers can choose to work in various parts of the county.

“Homelessness can be an invisible issue for many people in our county,” said John Lovick, county executive. “This annual count gives us a chance to show our homeless that they do matter and that we’re committed to making a difference in their lives.”

In 2013, 1,996 people in 1,151 households reported that they had no permanent place to stay. Of those people, 757 were children younger than 18.

“Our hope is to end homelessness in Snohomish County within the decade,” said Ken Stark, human services director. “The PIT count allows us to not only track the progress we’ve made, but reach out to different community groups to find new, better solutions to help those affected.”

Results from the count help county agencies understand how widespread homelessness is in the community and who is most affected. It also helps direct state and federal funding to local programs that fight homelessness.

To volunteer for the PIT count, contact one of the following area leads:

· East County: Sharon Paskewitz, 425-212-3211 or spaskewitz@voaww.org

· South County: Maria Bighaus, 425-774-9843 ext. 236 or mbighaus@ywcaworks.org

· Central County: Lisa Bachler, 425-374-6347 or lisaB@ccsww.org

· North County: Cathy Kerr, 425-347-6556 or CathyKerr@housinghope.org

For detailed information about the PIT count and homelessness in Snohomish County, contact Nate Marti at 425-388-3268.

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