Making the homeless count

Officials to use numbers to plan services

Katie Davis, assistant to Callaway Action Network Director Julie Roark, checks an abandoned cellar for potential occupants.

Katie Davis, assistant to Callaway Action Network Director Julie Roark, checks an abandoned cellar for potential occupants. Photo by Katherine Cummins.

To most people, the Nature Valley granola bar wrapper lying crumpled in the grass would appear to be just another piece of litter.

To Julie Roark and Katie Davis with SERVE, Inc.’s Callaway Action Network, it is a clear sign that one of Callaway County’s homeless population has been in the area recently.

The wrapper — along with the knowledge that the wooded area behind the truck wash in Kingdom City is a popular location for homeless individuals to spend the night — is a sign on a sweltering summer morning that the duo has chosen the right place to start their biannual Unsheltered Point-in-Time Homeless Count (which eventually yielded a total of 14).

“It’s something we know has come from our pantry that we carry all the time,” Davis said as she explained the colorful foil’s significance.

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