2019 K-Count in Bell County
The Community Care Outreach Ministry in Bell County are counting the number of people experiencing homelessness, for their K-Count partnership with the Kentucky Housing Authority.
The K-Count is an annual "snapshot" of what homelessness in areas looks like, to monitor numbers in each county around the state to help them determine housing funding.
However, volunteers in Bell County say most of the time those numbers are reflected from shelters only and do not give a true number.
"Some of us got together and decided we would volunteer and get a street count together, to get a more accurate number," says volunteer Lisa Evans. Evans says there are many misconceptions about numbers and living conditions to be considered as dealing with homelessness in their area.
She says some will live in tents, go to local libraries during the day, and post offices during the night.
"A lot of the people we feed are what we consider transitional homeless. Which are people that are just living with friends or family. You know, a few days at a time. Probably about five percent of the population that we feed are actually living on the street, says Evans.
She says volunteers were trained on Monday night to help with the count and helps the outreach know where they also need to go when doing work for the homeless.
Volunteers going into places and reporting, will give the state more accurate numbers of people so they can allocate funding for housing.
Evans says the dangerous temperatures puts people in these situations in a dire position, making it even more important to help them and tell them about resources like warming stations and emergency shelters.
She says the volunteers go out and give food deliveries and put on dinners at certain times, which also help them find other homeless communities.
Overall, volunteers say they just want to help end these issues in their county.
"My goal is to hopefully get some solutions to help resolve the issues," says Evans.
The count will continue through Wednesday and end at midnight in both Pineville and Middlesboro.