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Macon Community News

The Macon Newsroom

Macon Community News

The Macon Newsroom

Unhoused people were undercounted for years in Macon-Bibb

Commissioners briefed on United to End Homelessness efforts and dole out more than $3.1 million in HUD funds to help
Unhoused+people+were+undercounted+for+years+in+Macon-Bibb

Macon-Bibb County Commissioners learned Tuesday that the traditional “Point in Time,” or PIT Count, has undercounted the number of unhoused people in recent years.

“Our original count numbers before this year registered about 160 homeless persons split between shelters and street,” said Rev. Jake Hall of United to End Homelessness. “And what we attempted this year is to really work the street outreach side of the pit kill.”

On a specified night in January, the PIT count traditionally seeks to put a number on the unhoused people volunteers can find living on the streets and document those sheltered in emergency housing.

This year, the team also conducted 275 interviews, recorded 200 observations and 86 tents, tarps and vehicles serving as shelter. The Georgia Department of Community Affairs and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will take those raw numbers, remove duplicate entries and run them through an algorithm to reach the official number of those on the streets.

The night of this year’s PIT count, there were 250 people in homeless shelters or staying in hotels with emergency funds from charitable organizations, Hall said.

“A lot of times hidden homelessness is masked because people are living in what I call for-profit homeless shelters. People get caught in a cycle of living in hotels and motels, people who have income and jobs and are simply a part of what used to be termed the working poor,” he said.

Hall’s presentation preceded the County Commission approving more than $3.1 million in federal funding to be dispersed through the Macon-Bibb County Economic and Community Development Department budget.

Department Manager Wanzina Jackson said several agencies will benefit from allocations designed to address social issues, housing needs and economic development.

Here are highlights from Tuesday’s meeting captured through social media posts.

 

 

— Civic Journalism Senior Fellow Liz Fabian covers Macon-Bibb County government entities for The Macon Newsroom and can be reached at [email protected] or 478-301-2976.

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