Homeless Population Census underway in Hudson Valley

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Volunteers are counting the homeless population in the Hudson Valley this week to see how many people are in serious need.

The census provides critical outreach, but it also helps to determine how much federal funding Rockland receives for its neediest people.

Counting the homeless population is part of a national initiative to compile updated statistics on the country's homeless and provide that information to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Jeanmarie Galietta helps lead the homeless count out of the Haverstraw Center. It's one of the three county locations that surveys the population over a 24-hour period once every January.

"We would like to get better housing for our homeless. We would like to get them better services," said Galietta.

Last year, Rockland's homeless count was 182. Fasso Pierre-Louise used to be homeless himself, but now works as a liaison between volunteers and those on the streets. He thinks the homeless count will be higher than last year.

"Especially with the younger people, the younger generation that is adding to the number of homeless," said Pierre-Louise.

During the count, homeless residents can go to the Haverstraw Center for coats, socks, hats, food, haircuts and basic medical services like flu shots.  

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