BY KAYLA BAWROSKI, firstname.lastname@example.org
4:25 PM EST, January 31, 2012
There were fewer homeless people found in Harford County this year than a year earlier, according to count taken last week whose result was released Tuesday.
Data released from the Department of Community Services shows that as of Jan. 25, there were 204 homeless people in Harford County in comparison to 243 counted at the same approximate date last year.
The totals for each year include children and adults.
This year's annual count took on an added significant following the Jan. 20 deaths of two homeless people who were living in a wooded area in Aberdeen.
Not only was this year's count of the homeless lower than in 2011, it was also lower than 2010 when 221 homeless people were counted, Community Services Director Elizabeth Hendrix said.
The number of homeless people on the street – people known not to take advantage of public or private shelters or transitional housing – remained about the same, 12 counted this year, compared to 13 last year.
The rest of the homeless individuals counted are in hotels or shelters, Hendrix said. The department wanted the most accurate information as well, so they had teams out late into the night looking for homeless people who were clearly living outside in tents or makeshift shelters.
Hendrix said the latest data shows the great team work between organizations to combat the homelessness problem in Harford County.
"It really means that we're doing a much better job at coordinating and communicating among all the partners who serve this population," she said, adding that they are doing a good job of "making sure folks aren't falling through the cracks."