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Mon December 17, 2012
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Tennessee Prepares to Count Its Homeless

The homeless and volunteers gather for prayer outside the offices of the Murfreesboro charity The Journey Home before sharing a meal.
Credit The Journey Home

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  Agencies that work with the poor across Tennessee are gearing up to conduct the annual survey of the state’s homeless population.

Murfreesboro homeless advocate Steve Foster will be participating in the count. He says the survey will be taken in every county in the state on January 22.

“We do it pretty much from the time the sun goes down till the time the sun comes up the next morning, so often times it’s cold and unpleasant work, but that’s our best way of making sure we have an unduplicated count of where people are that night.”

The results of the count will be used over the coming year to allocate federal funds used to support the homeless.

“You know many of the homeless don’t necessarily want to be found, so we kind of look in all the places we know. Takes a lot of hands, we have a lot of volunteers who get involved.”

Foster says that for the first time since the economic downturn began he’s finally starting to see some improvement.

“We do have some things like the new Amazon Distribution Center that has hired a number of people, but we still have many folks in our community that are struggling to make ends meet.”

If you’d like to volunteer to help with the Rutherford County homeless survey in late January, contact the Murfreesboro Community Development Office at 890-4660, or visit murfreesborotn.gov.