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Ozarks Alliance to End Homelessness prepares for annual Point-in-Time Count

Veterans Coming Home, a Springfield offshoot of New Life Evangelistic Center, is located on Jefferson Avenue in central Springfield.
Gregory Holman/KSMU
Veterans Coming Home Center, shown here on October 17, 2022.

Those who are eligible can complete a survey at one of several locations.

The Every One Counts Campaign is underway in three area counties to get an idea of how many people are without permanent housing.

The campaign is hosted by the Ozarks Alliance to End Homelessness, the area’s continuum of care, in order to conduct the Point-in-Time Count in Greene, Christian and Webster Counties.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires that continuums of care conduct an annual count each January of homeless persons who are in emergency shelters, transitional housing and safe havens at one point in time.

In years past, a magnet event, where those who are homeless can go for a meal and services – and to fill out a survey, has been held.

But this year, Emily Fessler, continuum of care coordinator with the Community Partnership of the Ozarks, said they’ll have volunteers at various locations Wednesday and Thursday, January 24-25, including crisis cold weather shelters, Connecting Grounds, O’Reilly Center for Hope, the CU Transit Center, libraries the Veterans Coming Home Center and more. And they’ll go to a location in Christian County Friday morning, January 26, she said — "all of these variety of locations where we may be able to count and interact with an individual, and then that's an opportunity for us to meet them where they're at instead of expecting them to come to us."

And three outreach teams from the Connecting Grounds, Burrell Behavioral Health and Victory Mission will go out on the streets to survey folks.

More than six dozen volunteers are helping with this year’s count.

Fessler said the data collected during the count is used in the annual Homeless Assessment Report.

“That information goes to Congress, and that helps to determine what type of federal funds and programs will be available to communities," she said. "So, not only is it important for us locally to be able to build that relationship and rapport for individuals, but on a federal level it is what indicates housing and supportive service programs.”

Fessler expects the data collected during the count to be available by early summer.

Locations, dates and times for the Point-in-Time Count:

January 24th:

  • Crisis Cold Weather Shelters, which can be accessed by going to Grace United Methodist Church at 600 S. Jefferson Ave at 5:30pm for a meal and shelter sign-up.  

January 25th:

  • O’Reilly Center for Hope at 1518 E. Dale St. from 9:00am – 12:00pm and 1:00pm – 4:00pm.  
  • The Connecting Grounds Outreach Center at 3000 W. Chestnut Expressway from 8:00am – 4:00pm.  
  • The City Utilities Transit Center at 211 N. Main Ave. from 8:00am – 12:00pm.  
  • Schweitzer-Brentwood Library at 2214 S. Brentwood Blvd. from 8:30am – 9:30am and 12:00pm – 4:00pm. 
  • Park Central Library at 128 Park Central Square from 3:00pm – 5:00pm.  
  • Midtown Library at 397 E. Central St. from 2:30pm – 5:00pm.  
  • The Library Center at 4653 S. Campbell Ave. from 8:00am – 12:00pm.  
  • Library Station at 2535 N. Kansas Expressway from 10:00am – 11:00am and 1:00pm – 2:00pm.  
  • Harbor House at 636 N. Boonville Ave. from 12:00pm – 1:00pm.  
  • Veterans Coming Home Center at 806 N. Jefferson Ave. from 10:00am – 1:00pm.  
  • Grace United Methodist at 600 S. Jefferson Ave. from 5:30pm – 6:30pm.  
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) at 819 N. Boonville Ave. from 9:30am – 11:00am and 1:00pm – 4:00pm.