Overnight homeless census covers area

LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – Towns and cities across the country spent the last 24 hours combing the streets and local shelters to find the total number of homeless individuals in their communities.

While you were sleeping dozens of volunteers were out searching the Lansing streets looking for people in need of help.

So where are the usual locations where people like to seek shelter on a night like this?

Volunteers of America vice-president of Social Services Sharon Dade is looking for homeless in isolated locations. “I think for the homeless they seek shelter if they’re outside they’re going to look for a place that’s away from people.”

Like under a freeway overpass.

We found plenty of evidence that someone had been living there, a mattress, a sleeping bag. even a couch.

But it was an empty nest by the time we arrived.

“It depends on the time, we have places like Theios that say there are people that come there and hang out in the restaurant.”

This is the overnight leg of the Point-In-Time homeless census.

The final numbers are used to determine the distribution of federal funding for community outreach.

“We’ve came in contact with about 10 people tonight, and the other groups have had more. I’m very grateful to all of the volunteers who have taken time from their busy lives,” said Lansing’s Director of Human Relations Dr. Joan Jackson Johnson. “And you know, we’re out here for just a short period of time and we’re dressed appropriately can you imagine staying out here all night and not having any other options?”

We didn’t find anyone on the streets during our ride along with city officials, but they do say they will return to a number of encampments to see if anybody shows up during the day.

They’re going to go back and let them know where they can seek shelter, and maybe get something hot to eat

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