Annual homeless count to be held Thursday, Jan. 23

Awareness: Organizer says homeless population can be difficult to track

of the GatewayJanuary 22, 2014 

Volunteers Wayne Lopex, JoAnne Hawkins and John Oldham helped to survey the Gig Harbor and Key Peninsula’s homeless population last year in an effort to help with needed services.

LEE GILES III/GATEWAY FILE PHOTO

Volunteers will count the homeless population on the Gig Harbor and Key peninsulas on Thursday.

The annual homeless count uses a survey to track the number of homeless in a community. Organizer John Oldham said last year’s count was 13, a drop from 30 in 2012.

It’s a difficult number to ascertain, due to the transient state of those who are homeless, Oldham said.

“Unfortunately, the homeless are real tough to count,” he said.

The count takes place on the fourth Thursday of January each year.

Volunteers will gather at three locations: the Key Center branch of the Pierce County Library System, Key Peninsula Community Services and the Gig Harbor/Peninsula branch of the county library system.

No signup is required, but Oldham said it helps to have an idea of who will be there.

Oldham can be reached at 253-858-1700 or 253-225-1866. Donations of warm hats, gloves, socks, hygiene products and men’s shoes are needed.

Reporter Karen Miller can be reached at 253-358-4155 or email at karen.miller@gateline.com. Follow her on Twitter, @Gateway_Karen.

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