MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas -- For just a few hours on just one day you can make a huge difference in the lives of homeless people. On January 24, 2012, volunteers will attempt to get as accurate a count as possible, of the homeless in Montgomery County.

Federal funds to agencies that help the homeless will get money in proportion to the number of homeless people counted on Thursday, January 24, therefore, getting an accurate a count is essential.

Though it is estimated that there are about 3,500 homeless people in Montgomery County, our annual count is much lower than that number. Last year the count was 2,100. The need for services to help people find housing, jobs, health care, transportation, education, chemical dependency rehabilitation, and mental health care, has exceeded what is available.

In the last couple of years The Montgomery County Homeless Coalition has begun to provide and coordinate more of these services. Our county is in a better position than ever to make good use of the funding that is available, if a more accurate count could be taken.

Volunteers are needed to participate in the count, and it will take a lot of volunteers to achieve a realistic count due to the size of the Montgomery County. Anyone who can help will be making a tremendous contribution to the well-being of the county. Getting people into permanent housing not only improves their lives, it saves our county money in medical bills and public safety administration.

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