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Event Offers Services,Counts Homeless in Southwest Missouri

Michele Skalicky

The annual Point in Time count is held each year across the United States, including in southwest Missouri.  The Community Partnership of the Ozarks is the coordinator of the local effort, which included an event at the Shrine Mosque.

"We have different service agencies that are here.  We have a hot breakfast and warm lunch to bring folks in to do a survey kind of about their housing history," said event co-planner, Amanda Stadler, with Community Partnership of the Ozarks.

Volunteers also went out in Greene, Christian and Webster Counties to find the homeless where they are.  And an event for youth was held at Rare Breed.

The count is required due to $1 million in federal funding the Community Partnership receives from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to address homelessness.  But Sadler said it gives them valuable information.

"It just really helps us get kind of an accurate snapshot of what the needs are within our community," she said.

Ryan Edens came to the event for the food.  He's been homeless for about a month due to a job situation, he said.    But while at the Shrine Mosque, he learned about agencies that could help him.

"There were several different resources that were made available," he said.

And things are looking up.  He said he'd found a place to live, although not at the event, and planned to move in later in the day.