UPDATE: 13 found living on Wausau streets in homeless count
Thirteen people were found living on Wausau's streets after Wednesday's overnight point in time count and Thursday's Project Connect lunch. That number does not include people sleeping in shelters.
Every year, cities across the state hold a point in time count. In Wausau, volunteers will go out and not only see how many are living on Wausau Streets, but provide them a bag filled with basic items like deodorant, a toothbrush, toothpaste and ways to find resources in the community. The following day a Project Connect lunch is held in Wausau to bring additional resources to homeless people.
The count is done statewide twice a year to help create a glimpse of what the homeless population looks like. In January 2017, crews found 10 people without a home. In July 2016, 15 people were found. Those numbers do not include people staying in local shelters. For volunteers, they believe homelessness can happen to anyone.
"Anyone can lose a job, anyone can get in a car accident, anyone can get sick and when that happens and they can't have a basic necessity, it's important for others to step up and help them," North Central Community Action Program Executive Director Diane Sennholz said.
The North Central Community Action Program strives to reduce poverty in Marathon County. The count helps organizations like the them learn about the homeless population in the area.
"To find out why these people are homeless and create more resources to help them," Sennholz said.
Project Connect will be held Thursday afternoon. The homeless community is invited to come and get a free lunch in addition to resources to help them with things like housing. It will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Salvation Army Worship Community Center in Wausau.