Survey Offers Glimpse into West Virginia's Homeless Population

- WHAG NEWS - Homelessness has become a serious concern, especially in the state of West Virginia where officials with local organizations say the numbers of the homeless this year are up. 

Homelessness and poverty are a major concern across the nation. But three counties in West Virginia are taking specific steps to determine how bad the problem is locally. Organizations like the Bethany House hope this year's numbers will allow them to better assist those in need. 

"We're trying to get a picture of what the homelessness is like in our community," said Glenda Helman, Local Housing Work Group. 

Their annual survey, Point in Time, offers a glimpse of the state's homeless population. The Local Housing Work Group says the number of homeless individuals in the Panhandle has increased this year to about 240. 

"It's very personal, always want to help people. They're living paycheck to paycheck," said Bunny Shaw, Bethany House. 

The statewide survey including Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan Counties, tries to give organizations like the Bethany House a view of what resources are needed to help the homelessness. 

Helman says she is pleased with many local organizations coming together to meet the needs of the homeless. 

"I'm so excited by the number of organizations helping out to make it a success, and to help us provide better services," said Helman. 

The survey is processed through the West Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness and is conducted nationwide by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

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