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County Hosting Volunteer Kick-Off Event For Survey Of Homeless

By Aaron Kraut

Wednesday - 8/14/2013, 1:35pm  ET

A homeless man sleeps near the Bethesda Metro station escalators. (file photo)The campaign for 300 volunteers to help document chronically homeless people sleeping on the streets will continue next week with a kick-off event in Rockville.

Montgomery County will host a 100,000 Homes Campaign Volunteer Kick-Off Event on Monday, Aug. 19 at 6 p.m. The county, along with homeless prevention and housing nonprofits, are asking for volunteers to help in an annual survey of chronically homeless people throughout the county, including in Bethesda.

The volunteers will be trained to ask homeless people on the street about their medical histories. The 100,000 Homes campaign is meant to collect information on people who are in dire need of housing nationwide in order to prioritize them for assistance in permanent housing programs.

A 2013 point-in-time count of the homeless found there are 1,007 homeless people in Montgomery County on any given day and 222 individual adults who are chronically homeless.

Last year, surveys by Bethesda Cares and its volunteers found 125 individuals experiencing homelessness on the streets of Bethesda, White Flint, Friendship Heights and North Bethesda.

Bethesda Cares, the Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless and county government agencies will help conduct the survey from Nov. 4 to Nov. 6. The surveys are conducted in groups of volunteers from 4 a.m. to 7 a.m. in order to more easily find chronically homeless people before the morning rush begins.

The campaign also is looking for participants in subcommittees to help plan other activities. The county and the nonprofits are looking for members of civic groups, religious institutions and employees in corporations to take part. Last year, Bethesda Cares got volunteer help from a group of medical students at the Uniformed Services University.

Community leaders and elected officials will join on Monday to discuss their role in the campaign. The event will run from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at 401 Hungerford Dr. in Rockville. RSVP to coordinator Herb Smith at herb@mcch.net.

For more information or to register, visit MCCH’s website.