Homelessness

 

Homelessness in Henderson County is a growing concern. A field head count of 66 homeless persons, done on January 26, 2016, is a conservative number. It does not take into account those not in camps, living out of cars, the 53 homeless individuals on a waiting list for housing, or the 54 unaccompanied homeless teenagers identified by Henderson County schools. We conservatively estimate 173 persons homeless in Henderson County in 2016. These numbers will increase during the growing season when seasonal workers, many of whom are homeless, come into the county to work.

 

First Congregational’s social-justice group is part of the Henderson County Homeless Coalition, an organization of 33 non-profits and churches that educates the public and inspires actions to focus resources and services for persons experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness.

Additionally we are working with Homes for Youth and the Department of Social Services to advocate for and recruit new additional foster caregivers for our community. Seventeen families recently completed foster care training; we need 35 more to meet current needs. Going forward, we will continue our work with foster care recruitment. 

 

Partnering with Homeward Bound and the Coalition, we are also investigating the possibility of rehabbing existing buildings for rapid rehousing units. Affordable housing remains our most serious challenge. Says team member Romella Hart-O’Keefe, “Our compassionate vision is to increase awareness of the need for safe, just, affordable housing for all Henderson County residents, and to continue our active participation with the Coalition helping to rapidly house those who are homeless.”

 

Contact us to learn more about First Congregational.

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