OHIO COUNTY, W. Va. (WTRF) January 26 was the annual point-in-time homeless count.
At the Greater Wheeling Coalition for the Homeless, they say Ohio County’s count is not complete yet, because they’re still checking for possible duplications.
But in the past few years, they say they’ve noticed the numbers stay largely the same, with perhaps 134 one year, and 129 the next.
They say that for every person who becomes homeless, another person’s case is resolved.
So they say their takeaway is a message of hope.
“We can be sad that there are still people experiencing homelessness,” said Lisa Badia, executive director of the Coalition. “But what we have to know is that they’re experiencing it today at a point in time that can be resolved. Because the data doesn’t lie. And the data proves that there’s a nice even trend and as people are becoming homeless, we are resolving it.”
Badia points out that only about 15% of the names on the list are still there from one year to the next.
She says most of those who are no longer on the list have gotten housing.
She says a few have died of health conditions or lifestyle choices, just as in the general public.
But she says the Coalition has housing options even for the chronically homeless if they are willing to go in and take advantage of their services.