POSTED: Monday, January 25, 2010 - 12:47pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, March 23, 2010 - 11:42am
TYLER - The Smith County Coalition for the Homeless and the Texas Homeless Network, along with other local agencies and interested parties, will be conducting a homeless survey Thursday, January 28, in a continuing effort to address the homelessness issues facing community members in Smith County and throughout the state.
"We will be carrying out this survey and count on the same day as other agencies all over Texas," said Christina Fulsom, the President of the Smith County Coalition for the Homeless. "The survey will result in a comprehensive report on the number of homeless persons - sheltered and unsheltered - in our community; demographics, reasons for becoming and remaining homeless, educational attainment, employment status, health care needs, and other factors will be collected. We have to truly understand the scope of the problem in order to improve our ability to plan and implement effective housing and service programs. The same survey was conducted in January of 2009 - 261 homeless individuals, 62 of them children, wre identified in Tyler, there were many others we did not find that night."
The Coalition needs at least 50 volunteers to make this a successful study. "Anyone who shares our commitment to helping the homeless of Smith County is encouraged to volunteer. We will provide you with training on the night of the survey. Every team will be led by an experienced team leader.
Volunteers will meet at 3 pm on Thursday, January 28. After a brief training and a light meal, volunteer teams will disperse from 5-7:30 pm throughout the county and count and survey individuals living on the street and in shelters.
To register to volunteer, visit or call Christina Fulsom at 903.597.4044, ext. 107. "It is also very important that homeless individuals know we are coming out to visit them that night. People who meet HUD's definition of 'homeless' are encouraged to come to the following Soup Kitchens that evening: East Texas Rescue Mission of Tyler, Good Samaritan, Loaves and Fishes, and The Salvation Army. Those staying in shelters will be surveyed in the shelter. Participating shelters are The Salvation Army, CHAD's House, East Texas Crisis Center, East Texas Rescue Mission of Tyler, and Katheryn's House."