Archive for Thursday, October 4, 2007

Agencies address plans to aid homeless

October 4, 2007

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Social service agencies are stepping forward to help implement recommendations for dealing with the local homelessness issue, Douglas County commissioners were told Wednesday night.

Lawrence Community Shelter representatives have expressed their intent to be the local emergency shelter, said Shirley Martin-Smith, chairwoman of the Lawrence Community Commission on Homelessness.

The Salvation Army also intends to provide temporary emergency housing and some transitional housing, Martin-Smith said.

"While there is no formal declaration, we now are beginning to see who the partners in the housing area will be," she said.

The homeless commission met with local social service agencies Monday, Martin-Smith said. She met with county commissioners to update them on what is being done to help the homeless get back on their feet. Lawrence officials also have been updated.

"We need the county to be partners because it is a countywide issue," Martin-Smith said.

An agency or agency partnership is still sought to operate a clearinghouse, which would serve as a listing agent with information on housing availability.

The homeless commission acts on recommendations set forth in the 2005 report from the Mayor's Task Force on Homeless Services.

According to a count of the homeless in Lawrence on Jan. 29 there were 373 homeless adults and children here. There were 32 chronically homeless people here. The chronically homeless are often the ones seen in the downtown area and they need special care, Martin-Smith said.

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