CLAYTON: Johnston County counting homeless population - WNCT

Johnston County counting homeless population

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CLAYTON, N.C. -

An effort is underway in Johnston County to count those who have no place to live. But many, including some homeless in the county, think the number gather will be incorrect.

Tonya McCormack with Johnston County Health said the count is a way to tap into the homeless population and see what resources are really needed in the county.

A count of the homeless population in 2013 reported 34 living on the streets. But Ben Olsen with the Smithfield Rescue Mission said the number is closer to 900.

"There are people that would opt to not be seen, not to be heard," Olsen said. "So naturally, it's going to be a very low number."

An unidentified homeless man told WNCN he avoids the shelters because they are crowded and lack privacy.

The county's homeless count will continue through next week.

The count is being performed in every county in North Carolina. DHHS will analyze the information gathered to figure out what services are needed for the homeless population in the state.

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