Annual homeless count taken in Knox County

Published: Jan. 25, 2017 at 6:32 PM EST
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On Wednesday in Knox County, people were out searching for and counting the community's homeless.

The Kentucky Communities Economic Opportunity Council, or KCEOC, conducts a yearly K-Count to determine how many homeless people are in their area.

"It's important to count them in Eastern Kentucky to capture our homeless numbers, we have a plan to end homelessness, so we want to capture those numbers each year to see how effectively the plan is working and to also capture the funding that we need," Beverly Isom who is the Homeless Services Manager for the Kentucky Communities Economic Opportunity Council said.

Once counted, the number is reported to the Kentucky Housing Corporation, who sends it to the national Department of Housing and Urban Development, so KCEOC can receive federal funding.

"It might bring us more shelters, it might bring us more resources to help the homeless population," Sheila Wyatt who is the Case Manager for the Kentucky Communities Economic Opportunity Council Women's and Children's Homeless Support Center said.

In addition to walking around and counting the local homeless population, KCEOC Officials said, they also contacted local schools to get a count of the homeless youth.

As Isom said, some shelters cannot accept unaccompanied minors, so knowing how many children they need to help is beneficial.

Wyatt said last year they counted 23 homeless people in Knox County, but they are hoping this year with more volunteers they will be able to get a more accurate number.

Also, Wyatt said since their homeless number was up last year, they received more funding and were able to expand their shelter to allow families in, instead of just women and children.