NECAC is again participating with other agencies in the annual Point in Time Count.

The statewide effort to get an idea of how many homeless people are living in Missouri’s rural counties takes place Wednesday, Jan. 29. Counties covered by NECAC are Lewis, Macon, Marion, Monroe, Montgomery, Pike, Ralls, Randolph and Shelby.

The count records sheltered and unsheltered homeless people, including “couch surfers” who move from house-to-house living with friends or family.

The final numbers will be available later this year, and will be used to come up with programs to address homeless issues.

Statistics show that Missouri has almost 5,900 homeless people. That includes around 500 veterans and 500 young adults ages 18 to 24.

Homelessness in rural areas is different than that in large cities. You won’t find many people out on the street. There also isn’t as much mental illness among rural homeless. Some homeless in rural areas work jobs during the day, but have not permanent place to sleep at night. They rely upon family, friends and others.

NECAC has self-sufficiency programs, housing alternatives and life skills classes that can help those who are homeless or on the verge of it.

More information is available from your local NECAC Service Center or by calling 573-324-6633.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the Point In Time count, log on to www.moboscoc.org.

Send questions and comments to athorp@pikecountynews.com.

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