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DHS: Virgin Islands Continuum of Care on Homelessness Point-In-Time Survey Deemed a Success!

CHARLOTTE AMALIE – The Department of Human Services in collaboration with a number of organizations successfully collected data for the 2017 VI Continuum of Care on Homelessness Point-In-Time survey on Friday.

On each island the project was spear-headed by different organizations: St. John Community Foundation on St. John, Methodist Training and Outreach Center on St. Thomas, and Catholic Charities on St. Croix.

“I am very pleased to hear the collection of data each year on our islands proved to be successful and the accuracy of the counts are improving,” Acting Human Services Commissioner Felecia Blyden said of the Jan. 27 event. “The services that the organizations provide to the indigents from food, clothing, healthcare and legal services are very important to document in order for the services to continue.”

Every year in January, Housing and Urban Development requires that COC conduct a one-day count of sheltered and every two years for the unsheltered individuals and families as part of the national effort to end homelessness.

This is to include those who are sheltered in emergency shelters, transitional housing and domestic violence shelters on a single night. Each count is planned, coordinated and executed by local communities.

There were more than 50 volunteers who helped gather data this year.

“We work with non-profit, faith-based organizations each year to execute this project,” Blyden said. “This team does a wonderful job in assuring the total count of the homeless is complete and the services being provided are documented well to confirm that it is warranted.”

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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