ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) – The Ardmore Homeless Coalition is leading a Point-in-Time count to learn more about the city’s growing homeless population.
“Homelessness in Ardmore is at a level that I don’t think this community has ever seen before,” Laura Akers, Executive Director of the Grace Center of Southern Oklahoma, said.
Akers said you can’t manage an issue without measuring it.
“Without this information, we truly don’t have the full picture of who’s experiencing homelessness in Ardmore,” Akers said.
So the Grace Center, the Community Children’s Shelter, the Family Shelter of Southern Oklahoma, Impact Ardmore, KI BOIS Community Action, Salvation Army Ardmore, and Carter County schools are working together to find out who doesn’t have a home and what’s needed to make a difference.
“When they see people exhibiting the signs of experiencing homelessness, they approach them and ask them if they have a few minutes to do a survey,” Akers said.
She said the questions on the survey go further than a census.
“One of the very first questions is where did you sleep last night,” Akers said.
Answers include a park, a shelter, a car, or the streets.
Akers said the homeless coalition began in October to design a system that can actually make a difference in the community.
“Having those numbers, that data, helps shape and form homeless services and homeless prevention services,” Akers said. “That’s ultimately what we’re trying to know. Who do we need to design services for, and what level and scale do they need to be at.”
The Ardmore Homeless Coalition will start their count next week.
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