SHELTON — Mason County’s annual Point in Time homeless census takes place Jan. 25.
Tanya M. Strozyk-Frazier, executive director with Crossroads Housing in Shelton, said about 40 volunteers will fan out to many parts of Mason County to make contact with homeless individuals and families.
Strozyk-Frazier said the one-day count is used as a measurement tool to help guide the investment of federal, state and loal funding.
Crossroads Housing, Community Lifeline, Mason County Public Health, Turning Pointe and HOST homes are collaborating to solicit donations for this year’s count.
Donation drop-off boxes can be found at Fir Lane Health & Rehab, 2430 N.13th St. in Shelton; Bakala State Farm Insurance, 821 W. Railroad Ave. in Shelton; Central Mason Fire & EMS, 122 W. Franklin St. in Shelton; Mason General Hospital Foundation, 2505 Olympic Highway N., Suite 460; Miracle Ear Shelton, 116 W Railroad Ave. Suite 106; Brown’s Garage, 1873 E. Johns Prairie Road in Shelton; and My Painted Heart, 2217 Olympic Highway N.
Donations wanted include hats, gloves, sleeping bags, tents, tarps, batteries, flashlights, socks, coats, toilet paper and toiletries.
In 2018, the county’s chronically homeless — those without homes for more than a year or having experienced “four episodes” of homelessness in three years — rose from 53 in 2016 to 81.
The survey taken by volunteers also revealed that 117 homeless adults were found between Shelton and Belfair. The snapshot count found 44 homeless children.
Unsheltered homeless people counted — those living outdoors, in vehicles or abandoned buildings without utilities — amounted to 158.
Another 17 were identified as veterans.