As a result of the Housing & Homelessness Summit held by UWCK in Spring 2015, access to data regarding the state of homelessness in our community was identified as a need which could be better addressed through interagency collaboration. The K-Count, which stands for the Kentucky Count, is each county’s best snapshot of the state of homelessness. For several years, this assessment was not fully capturing the needs of those without shelter in Hardin County. The 2016 K-Count brought together multiple agencies to participate in this state-wide event which counts the “literally homeless,” or those who had nowhere to sleep on the night of January 27th. We learned a lot from the K-Count, as found in this report, but while we have a better picture of the scope of homelessness in our community than we did before the assessment we know this one number does not represent the whole picture.
To attain a better snapshot, we will host an additional point-in-time count which will allow us to survey all who attend and make them aware of the services that are available to them. Feeding America has partnered with us to do a food distribution to maximize turnout for this first-ever “H-Count,” or Hardin County Count, and the Vaughn Reno Starks Center has donated its space for us to host this event on Wednesday, July 13th at 3:00pm.
We plan and expect this event to give us an even better picture of the entire scope of homelessness in our community. We currently see that there are individuals and families lacking a fixed, adequate, nighttime address, who were not counted in the K-Count, but need as much support and assistance as those who were. The Hardin County Housing and Homelessness Coalition is excited to use the H-Count to gather data that is more representative of the reality of this issue, and to be able to provide food for 300-400 families who will have access to the different programs and agencies that have services available to them.
Multiple nonprofits are beginning to adopt a shared client management database to provide better access to data throughout the year in addition to these point-in-time counts that are being mobilized. If you would like to learn more, or would like to get involved, please contact United Way of Central Kentucky at (270) 737-6608.