"Point of Time" Count Determined to Help Homeless

By BROOKE WELCH | bwelch@wfft.com

Published 01/31 2014 01:46PM

Updated 01/31 2014 01:58PM

With the freezing temperatures we've had lately, while inconvenient, at least most of us have a place to keep warm.  For the homeless though, that isn't always the case. 

The United Way of Allen County and the Area of Homelessness Council gathered at 2 locations for the "Point in Time" count, a yearly count to try and determine the number of homeless living in the Fort Wayne area.

WFFT's Brooke Welch was there and spoke with a homeless veteran about difficulties of raising a child, with no place to call home.

Hundreds of homeless came to the Rescue Mission to be included in the "Point of Time" count and what's really alarming about the numbers, is how many children under the age of 18 are homeless in the Fort Wayne area.

"It's pretty challenging to see the child cold, crying, and hungry."

This is Clendell Sims, a recent Marine Corps Vet raising a baby and living on his cousin's couch.

"Some families don't do that.  I think more families should help out or give their hand, instead of treating them as an outcast or a black sheep so to speak."

Last year the count listed 535 homeless with 134 of those being children.  The count only includes those living in a shelter or on the streets, not those finding temporary shelter on someone's couch.  Richard Cummins with the Rescue Mission says he thinks that number is much higher.

"The numbers showed there might have been 500-550 people that were homeless at that point but we actually served 1275 unique individuals with shelter so we know there are a lot more folks out there."

Also, the county only includes the homeless that showed up so to encourage participation there is an incentive.

"We're going to give them pillows and blankets, coats, and hats, clothing.  We just want to do everything we can to equip them for this harsh weather."

For Clendell and the baby, the items they are giving away helps immensely.

The yearly count takes place to try and determine the needs of the homeless in the area.

If you would like to help those in need without a home in our area, you can contact the Rescue Mission or the United Way for ways to donate.

Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.