Fewer homeless found in Rock County during count
Volunteers counted seven homeless people outside in Rock County, 10 fewer people than in 2010, said Marc Perry, director of planning and development for Community Action of Rock and Walworth Counties.
"We had much warmer temperatures. Because of the weather, we anticipated more people out," Perry said. "Instead, we ran into fewer people. We just didn't expect that."
The Rock County Homeless Intervention Task Force and volunteers count homeless people every January and July.
The final number of people counted Wednesday won't be known until next week when people in local shelters or with emergency-housing vouchers are counted, Perry said.
The January 2010 count revealed 403 people living without homes in Rock County, he said. Most homeless people are in shelters.
Perry said he didn't think finding fewer people outside means the number of people without homes has decreased.
He said volunteers found several outdoor sites where it appeared people had been living, but no people were found nearby.
During each count, volunteers work outdoors and sweep the county searching for people living outside or in cars. Volunteers also gather information about people in shelters.
A record 120 volunteers helped this year, including college students, Janesville Parker High School students and community members, Perry said.
Volunteers comb as many areas of Rock County as possible. They search in Janesville, Beloit and other communities.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development mandates the count. The results help determine the needs of local homeless people.