Amarillo Continuum of Care needs more volunteers for summer homeless count

Amarillo Continuum of Care needs more volunteers for summer homeless count

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Amarillo Continuum of Care volunteers will split into teams once again this month for their second Point in Time Count this year.

They’ll find homeless residents across Amarillo in a single night using an app survey to get the counts.

“We’ll be out on many streets in Amarillo, trying to find homeless families and individuals so that we can get them connected to services,” said Committee Chair in the Amarillo COC Kelly Stephens.

The COC will also provide them with transportation to the Guyon Saunders Resource Center for services and essential items to withstand the summer months.

Stephens says the more volunteers who participate, the more people can get the help they need.

“The more volunteers we have, the more car teams we have that can go out, the more area we can cover,” she said. “So the more area we can cover, the more accurate our numbers are in reporting to HUD to keep money flowing through our community, and to give our programs leverage to get more funds coming into their programs as well.”

The COC applies for funding by showing the need for homeless services in the community.

“We put our prioritization for the community as far as what we as a COC believe is the most important thing that we can do for tackling the homelessness issue in Amarillo," said Co-chairman of the Amarillo COC Sgt. Jason Riddlespurger.

Nearly 800 total homeless were counted in January, with 330 of those being unsheltered.

Riddlespurger says the organization wants to focus on helping those who are chronically homeless.

“That’s going to be something that we’re moving forward with with our funding, with our prioritization, is that we’re going to really be concentrating on those those numbers,” he said.

Amarillo Continuum of Care volunteers will split into teams and find homeless residents across Amarillo in a single night, using an app survey to get the counts. (Source: KFDA)
Amarillo Continuum of Care volunteers will split into teams and find homeless residents across Amarillo in a single night, using an app survey to get the counts. (Source: KFDA) (Source: KFDA)

More volunteers also means having more accurate totals.

These counts also help the non-profit agencies in the COC get their own funding to boost services and help Amarillo’s homeless.

“I would say that our January count has been our most successful simply because we had more volunteers and better coverage of the city than years past,” said Riddlespurger.

Volunteer trainings will be Tuesday, July 23 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Thursday, July 25 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Guyon Saunders Resource Center.

The Point in Time Count will be on Friday, July 26 from 4 p.m. to 7 a.m on Saturday.

Copyright 2019 KFDA. All rights reserved.