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Homeless survey in Sunnyside set for Jan. 29

Those who are homeless, whether it be living in a park, with a friend, transitional housing or in an abandoned building, are invited to participate in the point in time survey planned for Thursday, Jan. 29.

The survey will be conducted from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at St. Joseph's Parish in Sunnyside. Besides the survey, a soup kitchen will be offered from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and free care packages as well as services will be provided.

The Homeless Network of Yakima County is sponsoring the fifth annual survey. The results will help the network in pursuing funding for homeless-related efforts. For more information or to help with the count, call 509-574-1520.

Factors leading to homelessness can include lack of income, eviction due to foreclosure, physical health and disability, mental health issues and substance abuse.

The homeless count comes as advocates for the homeless fear a reversal in the decrease of homelessness in Washington state due to the current economic recession.

In fact, the National Alliance to End Homelessness anticipates 1.5 million Americans could become homeless over the next two years without effective intervention.

Mia Navarro Wells of the Washington State Coalition for the Homeless agrees.

"Targeted investments in homelessness prevention and supportive housing are especially important now as we start to see more and more families and individuals struggling - and failing - to make ends meet," she said.

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