A street count of the homeless in Adams County, Pa., showed more than two dozen people living in a Gettysburg campground.
“I do think there are more (homeless) out there, but we did a good job trying to find them,” said Janise Brown, case worker for Turning Point Interfaith Mission, and one of 60 volunteers who spent several hours on a cold and snowy night canvassing Gettysburg, New Oxford, Littlestown, Bonneauville and Upper Adams for the county’s homeless population, according to the Gettysburg Times.
In the end, three dozen unsheltered people were found on Jan. 28. The biggest number, 25, came from the campground. The rest were found in vehicles and shopping centers.
Every two years, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires the local Adams County Housing Authority Turning Point to conduct a point-in-time survey of the county’s unsheltered homeless. Those numbers are then used in reports and factored into how much grant money the county receives for homeless assistance programs.
The last time the survey was done, volunteers found only three homeless people. And while the jump from three to three dozen is staggering, some say the numbers could be higher.
What surprised Turning Point manager Cheryl Boyd the most was the growing trend of campgrounds being used by rural homeless people.
“We had considered it, since our area has an abundance of campground and seasonal attractions, but the fact that 25 people were found living in a campground, in dilapidated trailers, where water freezes up during the winter, that was not expected,” she said.