Last updated: January 07. 2014 5:05PM - 426 Views

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WINNSBORO – Provident Community Bank, United Way of the Midlands and the Midlands Area Consortium for the Homeless are conducting a Warm the Winter Drive to collect new socks, hats and gloves for people experiencing homelessness during the annual 2014 Point-in-Time count.

The Point-in-Time count is conducted nationally and is an attempt to actually count the number of homeless persons in each state. The next count date is set for Jan. 23, 2014.

“The PIT count, even though it is a national HUD sponsored initiative, is crucially important locally because the resulting data can help a community better understand homelessness in their area and allocate resources more effectively according to the need,” said Tom Bolton, United Way of the Midlands’ homeless coalition coordinator.

MACH identified approximately 2,030 homeless persons in its 14-county area during this year’s count. In Fairfield County, volunteers found 18 homeless individuals back in January. Also, many other people found that day were considered at-risk of homelessness or living with friends without a permanent place to live.

Every year volunteers hand out bags to homeless individuals and to local homeless service agencies that provide volunteers to participate in the annual PIT count.

This year they hope to include new winter necessities in the bags that they will distribute in January to homeless individuals and families they find on that date.

“Toothbrushes, razors and similar essentials are easy to get at shelters, but new toboggan-style hats, gloves and socks are harder to come by,” said Bolton.

Organizations, church groups and individuals interested in helping should collect the items and drop off completed bundles at Provident Community Bank, 801 U.S. 321 Bypass in Winnsboro. Packages will be accepted through the first week of January from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Contact Tom Bolton at tbolton@uway.org for more information.

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