Community Partnership’s Ozarks Alliance To End Homelessness and many of its collaborative partners will team up for the annual Every One Counts campaign on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019.

Volunteers will work at various sites across Greene, Christian, and Webster counties to document and connect with those who are experiencing homelessness in our community.

Every One Counts takes place yearly to meet critical mandates by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which provides more than $1 million in funding and support for homeless services in the Ozarks.

Previous counts have shown an average of 500 individuals are experiencing homelessness at any given time in our community. Of those, approximately 195 individuals do not have any source of shelter.

Efforts to connect with adults experiencing homelessness will be headquartered at the Shrine Mosque (601 St. Louis St.) from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Partner agencies will be on-site to distribute needed survival items and offer direct health and housing services, including Veteran-specific services.

Attendees will also receive breakfast and lunch, donated by advocacy group Gathering Friends for the Homeless and Bambinos. Free shuttle services will run in a continuous loop between the Shrine Mosque and local homeless drop-in center Veterans Coming Home. Guests should enter the Shrine Mosque through the North doors.

A separate event specifically for youth between ages 13 and 24 will be held at a new location this year — the Ward Downtown YMCA (417 S. Jefferson) from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. with the support of the Junior League of Springfield. Partner agencies will be on-site to offer health and housing services. Youth attendees will also receive door prizes and free lunch.

The Every One Counts campaign is a collaborative effort of Community Partnership’s Ozarks Alliance to End Homelessness and the planning task force is chaired by Council of Churches. Data collected during Every One Counts is used at the federal, state and local level to inform decision making related to funding, service provision and our community’s progress towards ending homelessness.

For more information about the Ozarks Alliance to End Homelessness, visit www.cpozarks.org/endhomelessness