One Night a Year Homeless Count and Survey, Where Does Northeast Louisiana Stand?

MONROE, La.-- - It happens once every year, Louisiana's point-in-time survey of the street homeless population on one given night. 
 
The Wellspring Director of Homeless Services, Kristie Hodges, is one volunteer who helps in the search.
 
"We go out and try and find the people that are actually living on the streets that are not in a shelter and not in a homeless program," says Hodges.  
 
One man is living the harsh reality on the streets.  Though he did not reveal his identity,  he shares his nightly routine.  
 
"I've slept outside a few nights.  It's not been fun, that's for sure.  I don't know.  My experience is just cold and shaky.  You know, find whatever I can find to cover up with,  to keep from the rain," he says. 
 
Hodges says the annual survey is crucial in figuring out how to help the homeless by addressing their individual needs. 
 
"We just want to get them the help that they need if they qualify for one of our services.  Especially in the past few days, it's been extremely cold.  So, one of the things that goes through my mind is how do they survive out there when it is so cold," says Hodges. 
 
The Wellspring does offer blankets, hats, and gloves they receive from community and church donations. 
 
They also refer the homeless to soup kitchens or shelters for food. 
 
If those in need aren't able to receive a hot meal from one of the local shelters, the Wellspring can provide them with food bag filled with an assortment of snacks and a drink to help get them through the day.
 
"We kind of call it an emergency kit with water and things that are easy for them to open like pop top cans, that they wouldn't have to have a can opener or necessarily have to cook to be able to eat it," says Hodges. 
 
190 homeless were recorded in the 20-15 census. 
 
Hodges hopes this hearbreaking truth raises awareness to help those in need survive. 
 
"If every day, you had to wonder where you were sleeping tonight, that's a really hard way to live life," says Hodges. 
 
Learn how to get involved by clicking the link: http://wellspringofnela.org/

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