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Volunteers Needed To Help Count Homeless Veterans In Jacksonville

homeless man on sidewalk
Mo Riza via Flickr
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The Jacksonville nonprofit Changing Homelessness is asking for volunteers next month to help survey the city’s homeless population, especially those who once wore a uniform.

Changing Homelessness spokeswoman Michele Querry says a new initiative called “The Streets Don’t Lie” was created to help identify homeless veterans in the urban core, Orange Park and Beaches areas.

“Our data is telling us that we are rapidly approaching functional zero for veterans’ homelessness, but the streets don’t lie,” she said. “So we have to make sure that our data is effectively matching what we’re seeing on the streets.”

Changing Homelessness is seeking hundreds of volunteers.

A training session will be available to prepare participants to go out and locate homeless vets, collect their information and get them connected with resources.

“If we’re going to ever really end homelessness, we’re going to have to do that as a community at large,” she said.

The homeless census is scheduled for Wed., Aug. 16, with two shifts available: 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. or 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The organization is also asking for donations of toiletries including toothpaste, soap, toothbrushes and sunscreen that will be disbursed to the veterans.

Nikeya Heath can be reached on Twitter at @Nikereports or at newsteam@wjct.org.