Volunteers throughout Baltimore County walked their communities to count homeless people on Thursday, Jan. 24.
The Point in Time count, mandated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), helps determine eligibility for Federal funding in homeless programs. The count only includes unsheltered homeless people.
In Reisterstown, volunteers from Community Crisis Center (CCC) walked from where Main Street hits Route 30 to Rosewood Lane and Reisterstown Road.
“We did not encounter any homeless people,” said Eileen Compton-Little, a CCC board member. “However, we did definitely find evidence of camps.”
Compton-Little said they found an area with food trash, clothing, bags and other personal belongings in an area where 6 to 10 people could have been staying.
“Based on when the snow fell, I would assume they did not spend the night there last night,” she said on Friday. “There were fresh tracks going in and out that were not ours.”
CCC volunteers thought Reisterstown had about 25 homeless people, a number that executive director Ed Hartman confirmed with the local police precinct.
While there was no count in Reisterstown last year, 800 homeless were counted in Baltimore County in 2012.
The CCC’s mission to prevent homelessness through helping local residents with emergency food, hygiene products, school supplies, career clothing, financial literacy and monetary assistance for utilities and living costs. While these forms of assistance do help, Compton-Little also feels that Baltimore County needs more low-cost housing and is aware that there are not enough beds in shelters, especially for men who typically have a harder time getting into shelters, she said.
“We need to keep a closer eye and try to help these people,” Compton-Little said.