Stokes Homeless Outreach will be among several agencies attempting to get a more definitive answer to just how widespread homelessness is in the region, with a count of homeless individuals set for Wednesday evening, July 25 beginning at 9 p.m.
Checkpoints will be set up at the Danbury, Walnut Cove and Francisco Fire Departments and the parking lot of 151 Jefferson Church Road in King.
Kanci McKnight, a member of the Stokes Homeless Outreach, which was founded in the summer of 2017 as an initiative to bring more shelters and awareness to the area, said individuals who come to the checkpoint will be given a hot plate of food, a bag of daily living supplies which include a toothbrush, toothpaste, blanket and deodorant.
“There will also be groups going out in these communities to check for individuals that don’t come to the check-points,” she added.
This is the second count being done this year.
“The January PIT count went well,” McKnight said. “We had a good turn out with volunteers. We were able to gather useful information on possible leads and locations. The weather was cold and we believe many individuals were transported to shelters in other counties. We didn’t have any expectations going into the count considering we were a relatively new group, but came in eager and ready to help this population.”
Stokes Partnership for Children, The Children’s Center of Surry, Cardinal Innovations, King Outreach, and local churches will be helping organize Wednesday’s count which is slated to end around midnight.
“Due to the opioid epidemic, the unemployment rate, our rural location and other outstanding factors the homeless problem is continuing to rise,” McKnight said. “We’re very thankful to the local volunteers and local businesses that have helped by donating their time or food for volunteers. A special thank you to John Brown’s Country Store and Grill for donating meals for the homeless during our January PIT count.”
For more information about Stokes Homeless Outreach, follow the non-profit on Facebook or attend a meeting the second Monday of every month beginning at 1 p.m. at Stokes Partnership for Children. If interested in volunteering at Wednesday point-in-count, contact Kanci McKnight at email@example.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Amanda Dodson may be reached at 336-813-2426.