Volunteers begin count of Rockland's homeless population

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Rockland is looking to identify just how many people are homeless and in need of help in the county.

The Community Center in Haverstraw is one of three locations across the county that is helping to count Rockland's homeless population and find out just how many people are in serious need.

The homeless count started at 6 a.m. and lasts until 6 a.m. on Wednesday.

Volunteers are canvassing the area, not only counting the homeless, but also talking to them and encouraging them to take advantage of services throughout the area.

Those services include free winter coats and other clothing, food, and coffee, all available in Haverstraw, Spring Valley and Nyack today.

The homeless can also get a flu shot, their blood pressure taken, and even a haircut.

The goal to help them, while getting statistics that can help the county get the right amount of federal funding. “We would like to get better housing for our homeless. We would like to get them better services, many of them are veterans, they have PTSD, there are psychological problems involved, and many of them are long-standing,” says Jeanmarie Galietta, of the Haverstraw Center.

The homeless count is part of an initiative taking place all across the country this week, ultimately providing information to the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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