EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSHUNTINGTON HOMELESS
from Eyewitness News Online
Project Homeless Connect Helps People Get Back On Their Feet
Reported by: Dave Benton
Web Producer: Bethany Simmons
Also Contributing: Associated Press
Reported: Feb. 20, 2013 1:08 PM EST
Updated: Feb. 21, 2013 2:40 PM EST
Huntington , Cabell County , West Virginia
The "Project Homeless Connect" was a success in Huntington Wednesday afternoon.
Dana Ninz is homeless and lives on the Ohio river bank in Huntington. "Yes, it was very helpful, A lot of people here are grateful for the services like this. I didn't realize a lot of people care and were aware with what's happening with the homeless situation."
Local organizations set up booths in the conference center at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena. Groups passed out food, clothing and also provided free haircuts and even medical assistance. Workforce WV was on hand to help lead folks in the right direction for employment.
While many people who live on the streets have substance abuse problems, Huntington Mayor Steve Williams says that's not always the case. "We have just gone through a bad economic turn like in the 1930's and many of us are really just one paycheck away from losing our homes."
Dana Ninz says he hopes to land a job soon, he did make several contacts at the event.
An effort to help the homeless in Huntington was under way Wednesday afternoon.
"Project Homeless Connect" set up at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena in Huntington. The event gave folks a chance to see the services available to get back on their feet.
Several informational booths were set up in the conference center at the arena. Organizations passed out clothing and food, while others took advantage of free haircuts and some medical assistance such as blood pressure checks.
Earlier this week, an annual count showed the homeless population in Huntington had declined.
Figures released by the Huntington-Cabell-Wayne Continuum of Care show there were about 250 homeless people in January, down from nearly 275 in January 2012.
Francie Roberts-Buchanan is director of information and referral services for Cabell and Wayne counties. She told The Herald-Dispatch that the decline could be due to extreme cold on the day the count was performed.
Roberts-Buchanan said several people couldn't be counted because they indicated that they stayed with friends or relatives, or in a motel during the cold weather.
This year's total includes 28 families with at least one adult and one minor child.
AP contributed to this report.
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