Eau Claire (WQOW) – As temperatures drop, more stay inside, that is, if they have a place to go.
The Western Dairyland Economic Opportunity Council (WDEOC) will survey the city of Eau Claire to get a count of how many homeless people are in the area.
If staff at WDEOC find people in city parks or their cars, they will ask them what sort of things they need. WDECO staff said they will connect people to a variety of local resources like housing, food, clothing and resources they provide, like weatherization and case management.
The homeless count happens twice a year, once in January and again in July. WDECO staff said at this time last year, they only found five people who reported being homeless, but since it is warmer on Wednesday night, they expect to find more people.
“People need help, and before I started honestly, I didn’t realize how big of issue homelessness is in our area. Our goal is to just help as many people as we can and we want to make other people aware so maybe they can help as well, we just want to make sure everyone has place to go,” said Samantha Harkness, Housing First Case Manager with WDEOC.
The count will start Wednesday at 11 p.m. and go to 6 a.m. Thursday. WDEOC staff said they are looking for volunteers. Snyone who would like to join the count should meet at the Sojourner House parking lot at 10:45 p.m.