Counting the homeless brings in more funding

Counting the homeless brings in more funding
(Source: MGN Online/Gifts Shelter)
(Source: MGN Online/Gifts Shelter)

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It's an important day in the effort to help Southwest Louisiana's homeless.

One by one, those without homes in the lake area took part in the annual Point-in-Time Homeless Count.

"The homeless situation in Calcasieu Parish, as well as the other parishes we cover, is a problem," said Umeih Thomas, Assistant Coordinator for Continuum of Care Program.

Eugene Randal said he's disabled and unable to work, but he knows he's not just a number. Randal said the count will ultimately help him and others

"The survey was very nice and important to do by keeping up with our population here in Louisiana," said Randal.

The survey asks questions like where someone lives, if it's an emergency shelter or outside.

Volunteers said the reason for the count is ultimately to bring in more state funding.

"We're trying to bring in more funding for more services and programs for those experiencing homelessness," said Thomas.

More than just the count, volunteers took people's blood pressure for free and gave tips on how to stay healthy.

"It's so important, because we have doctors we go to every day, but the homeless might go nowhere ever so they're just happy to get their blood pressure taken," said Director of Calcasieu Parish Medical Reserve Corps, Angela Jouett.

Randal said that's another service he's thankful for.

"Nobody wants to be sick," said Randal. "We want to be in the best health we can."

Besides just a count, it's another way to show the homeless population there's help in Southwest Louisiana.

Copyright 2014 KPLC. All rights reserved.