Shelters and organizations across Kentucky are preparing to count the number of homeless people in their communities on Jan. 30.
It's called K-Count and it's a 24-hour statewide count of homeless who are in shelters or 'unsheltered,' meaning staying outside in what’s described as "a place not meant for human habitation."
K-Count is part of the annual count by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that’s required as a condition of funding for programs that serve the homeless.
The Daniel Pitino Shelter in Owensboro will take part in the statewide project. The shelter serves women and families and can house up to 65 people a night. It also has a soup kitchen that can serve up to 175 people, seven days a week.
Tambria Council works in case management at the shelter and is overseeing the one-day project. She said she knows personally why the count and the funding are so important.
“Well, I used to be homeless. I went through a job loss and lost everything," said Council. "I actually found the Daniel Pitino Shelter and they helped me get back on my feet.”
The Salvation Army shelter in Bowling Green is among organizations across the state taking part in K-Count.
Heather Ryan is director of social services at the Salvation Army Bowling Green. She said the shelter can serve up to 112 people a night and the need is growing.
“When I started this position in June 2011, I had eight people in the shelter," said Ryan. "You know, in the current day, we usually run about 70-to-75 percent occupancy rate, so we’re definitely seeing more numbers in the homeless population, especially women and families.”
The Kentucky Housing Corporation collects the homeless numbers from organizations across the state and uses the information to allocate resources. KHC lists the most recent number of homeless in the state at nearly 3,700.