07:12 AM

Students Join Coalition for the Homeless in 2015 Census

For the second year, a group of UHD students, faculty, and staff, under the direction of Dr. Noel Bezette-Flores, who is a member of the Homeless Youth Network Board partnered with the Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County last week for the 2015 Homeless Count - an effort to reduce youth homelessness in the area.

The UHD students were one of only a handful of groups as designated as a special team to not only count homeless, but to survey in an attempt to identify and learn more about the homeless youth population. The purpose of the annual homeless count, performed nationwide each year in the final 10 days of January, is to assess the number of homeless individuals and families in the region and to gather statistical data about this population.

The University's participation was initiated in 2014 by Dr. Bezette-Flores in collaboration with students, who recognized the event as an opportunity to serve the homeless persons who seek shelter on the streets and in shelters in close proximity to the UHD campus.

Volunteers offered survey participants a care package and collected information about their gender, age, mental health, race, veteran status, and incidence of domestic violence and substance abuse. These factors will help the Coalition to better identify and serve the homeless population in Houston.