The South Plains Homeless Consortium is conducting their annual homeless count tonight at 6 p.m. in an effort to determine how much government funding they will get to help the local homeless population. The numbers from tonight are sent to the state who then pass the number along to the federal government, and they determine how much grant money comes to Lubbock and what areas need to be targeted.
"One of our greatest needs in this area is affordable and I know that our groups have been working on that for several years," said Nancy Edwards. She is the volunteer coordinator for Second Helpings and First Methodist Church.
The count began this morning at every soup kitchen in Lubbock as well as residential facilities in Lubbock and the surrounding counties. Everyone that qualifies has the opportunity to fill out a survey, which allows the Federal Government to get a better understanding of demographics and areas of need.
"They either have to be homeless, have been homeless in the last three to six months, they may have day jobs one day and then the next are out of work, live with someone or live in a motel," said Edwards.
Jessica Gonzalez is a woman who would be greatly helped by government aid. She came from out of state to live with her boyfriend before he conned her, leaving her with no money and no place to stay.
"He said the situation will be good and we'll make it through in life, and he just up and bailed on me one day," said Gonzalez. "I'm young. I'm only 20, so doing it on my own is hard because I'm so young and I'm female."
She says she knows 10 other women in her age group who are in the same situation.
"They're pretty much the ones I hang around with everyday. We help each other out," said Gonzalez.
She says she has applied to over 50 jobs and goes to the temp services to try and get any day work that she can. She says she is just hoping for a little assistance to help her get out of her situation.
"It would be great, you know, because it is hard out there, especially being young and from a different state," said Gonzalez. "Any assistance works because you can only survive off the government for so long, and you know I do plan on paying whatever I get back because I worked all my life."
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