And a federally funded organization this morning boasts of being able to track the movements of 89 Southside homeless people. I don't know whether to laugh or to cry.
Survey racks up numbers on homeless in rural Va.I guess we're supposed to applaud. There are 11 more homeless people wandering Southside than we knew previously to exist. Eleven.
The system being used by eight agencies shows more homeless people than expected in Southside Virginia.
Megan Watzin, The Roanoke Times
An electronic system launched in January to track the homeless in Southside has found a population exceeding previous counts, making officials hopeful that they're on track to better gauge the extent of the problem.
The West Piedmont Better Housing Coalition, a group working to eliminate and prevent homelessness in Franklin, Henry, Patrick and Pittsylvania counties and Martinsville and Danville, started the system with a federal grant.
Using the program, agencies have counted 89 homeless people since January. The last homelessness survey in that area, conducted in January 2005, found 78 who were homeless. (link)
At the same time, there are tens of thousands of people who have fled Pittsylvania County because they've been thrown out of work in recent years. There are tens of thousands of people living today in Southside and Southwest Virginia who live below the poverty line. The average income of a person living in Danville is 60% of that of the average Virginian. The county has the worst unemployment problem in the state, Danville having the dishonor of being the only city in the commonwealth with double-digit unemployment.
And we're making a science out of the meanderings of the homeless.
For the love of God.