RCS to Participate in National Homeless Count in Clearwater

In January, a national count will be conducted of the homeless to see how trends are changing locally, across the state, and nationally. Since 2013, through the Pinellas County Point in Time Count and Survey, the local count has been conducted annually. The Homeless Leadership Board will lead the count in Clearwater on January 24, 2017 with Religious Community Services (RCS) staff helping along with hundreds of other volunteers.

Along with assisting in the count, RCS works daily to help the homeless with its programs: RCS Food Bank, RCS Grace House, and RCS Thrift Store. RCS Food Bank provides nonperishable food weekly to the homeless. RCS Grace House helps homeless families in all of Pinellas County. In 2016, 506 individuals (of families) were served with emergency shelter (22,492 bed nights) and case management. Families were comprised of 188 parents and 318 children. Also the homeless are able to receive to help with other needs, like clothing, jackets, and backpacks, at the RCS Thrift Store.

RCS, Inc., founded in 1967, has been providing Help & Hope to People in Need for 50 years. RCS helps individuals and families facing hunger, homelessness, and domestic violence. RCS focuses on serving individuals and families with dignity, helping them along the path to self-sufficiency.

Homeless Facts from the 2016 Point In Time Count[1]:

  • There were 2,777 homeless individuals reported with 85.7% of those being over 24 years of age.
  • 8 % reported employment/financial reasons and 19.9% cited family problems as a cause of homelessness.
  • 2% reported having a mental illness while 22.4% reported s substance use disorder.

[1] https://www.myclearwater.com/gov/depts/econ_devel/homeless_initiative.asp

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