Stepping Stone Shelter will assist in survey, seeking local volunteers
• Special to the Leader & Times
The Kansas Point-in-Time Count Partnership invites citizens to volunteer their time and talent to the biennial count of persons experiencing homelessness in Kansas. Thoses who want to help locally can do so, since Stepping Stone Shelter in Liberal is one of the organizations invloved in the statewide survey.
The partnership includes members of non-profit and/or faith-based organizations directly serving individuals and families throughout the state, as well as the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, Kansas State Department of Education, Kansas Coalition against Sexual and Domestic Violence, the Veterans Administration, and Kansas Housing Resources Corporation.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awards grants to communities and local organizations that participate in homeless assistance planning programs, or what’s referred to as a Continuum of Care (CoC) network.
Kansas has five CoC networks which provide services to the homeless across the state. HUD requires Point-in-Time counts for networks wishing to maintain and use federal funding. In Kansas, the five CoCs collaborate to conduct a statewide coordinated count, which will take place Wednesday, Jan. 26.
Point-in-Time surveys allow communities to look at the trends in the homeless population. Some of the questions on the Kansas surveys include these topics: places where persons might have stayed that night; length of time spent homeless; number of times they’ve been homeless; the family’s size including children; veteran’s status; mental health, substance abuse or domestic violence issues; HIV/AIDS related illnesses; and job status.
The five CoC lead agencies will spearhead the count with the help of partner organization staff members, city and county officials, law enforcement officers, SRS workers, volunteers, and even persons who are homeless themselves.
Volunteers in at least 40 counties across Kansas will survey homeless individuals who are staying in shelters or living in cars, abandoned buildings, under bridges, etc. Other volunteers will help with data entry and other needed support. Training will be provided.
For those interested in volunteering, please contact one of the following:
o In Seward County, call Pat Allsbury at the Stepping Stone Shelter at 626-6024.
o In Douglas County, Danelle Dresslar, City of Lawrence at (785) 832-3108 or e-mail
o In Johnson County, Valorie Carson, United Community Services of Johnson County, (913) 438-4764 or
o In Sedgwick County, Luella Sanders, United Way of the Plains, at (316) 267-1321 or
o In Shawnee County, Doug Wallace, Valeo Behavioral Health Care at (785) 357-0580
o In Wyandotte County, Atif Abdel-Khaliq, Wyandotte Homeless Services Coalition Inc. at (913) 573-5120 or
Contacts for the remaining 100 counties will be listed on the Web site www.kshomeless.com.