"Homeless census" underway in Tyler - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

"Homeless census" underway in Tyler

By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Elizabeth Thomas – email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) – Outreach organizations and volunteers canvassed streets and neighborhoods in Tyler on Thursday, searching for those who live without homes.

Gateway to Hope, along with the Texas Homeless Network has been surveying the homeless in communities throughout the state.

Volunteers hit shelters, soup kitchens, and streets across the city of Tyler. Their goal is to get an as accurate count as possible of the number of homeless living in and around the city.

The goal of the survey is to better understand who and why these individuals and families are living in shelters, or out on the streets.

The volunteers say they're trying to see what additional resources are needed to help serve the homeless community, whether it be educational, health care, or employment related.

Teams scoured mapped-out areas where homeless are known to frequent.

Of course, an exact count is near impossible, but the organizations say it's important to at least have some idea of where they are.

With the average age of a homeless person being just a young nine-years-old, volunteers and organization members feel like they need to make a difference.

More than 300 people were counted in Tyler last year, about 25% of those were children.

Sadly, volunteers expect the number to be even higher this year.

Copyright 2011 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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