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Donations Needed to Help with Homeless Count in Catawba County

Catawba County United Way is seeking donations to assist in homeless count. Last year, more than 16,000 calls were placed to the United Way of North Carolina 2-1-1 community help line asking for information about low-cost housing while more than 25,000 calls were made about shelters, according to nc.211counts.org.

In Catawba County, 573 calls for help with housing and shelter were made to 211, and again these were only calls made to the information and referral service. It does not represent the total need. To help understand the scope of the issue in Catawba County, the Housing Visions Continuum of Care group is preparing to conduct the annual Point in Time (PIT) count of homeless individuals at the end of this month. The purpose is to collect data that identifies gaps in services as well as barriers that prevent individuals and families from becoming successfully housed.

During the count process, homeless individuals and families are provided with much-needed items that are collected from the community. Donations can be made throughout the month of January and can be dropped off at the Catawba County United Way (2760 Tate Blvd. SE, Hickory) or call 828-327-6851. Items can also be purchased online and drop-shipped to the CCUW office by visiting https://www.ccunitedway.com/MindfulGiving.

Donations needed include batteries, flashlights, combs/brushes, ponchos, deodorant, feminine hygiene products, sleeping bags, gloves, first aid kits/band-aids, backpacks (gently used or new), socks and toboggans/knitted caps. Items need to be received by January 29. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires the PIT count for a community to be eligible for government funding used to address housing issues. The count from 2022 showed 261 people were experiencing homelessness in Catawba County which included 35 families with children.

Tax deductible monetary donations to help with the PIT can be mailed to the Catawba County United Way. Include “homeless initiatives” in the memo section. One hundred percent of the donations go to the homeless initiatives through the Housing Visions Continuum of Care.

For more information about the PIT county contact Amber Story, Partners Health Management housing specialist, 704-813-1196 or astory@partnersbhm.org.