According to the "Shasta County Homeless Continuum of Care Council, over 2,400 people were homeless at some point last year. Over 500 were children. Melinda Brown from "People of Progress" says the figures tend to fluctuate but they still provide important insight. "The biggest value from the survey is educating both service providers and the community and we can have a better basis to work together, we have a lot of services for the homeless and people at risk."
The year-round homeless survey is conducted through multiple organizations. There's also a one-day count. About twenty volunteers canvassed the county on January 27th. The one day count showed more than 700 homeless, compared to last year's 490. Job loss is a major reason for homelessness, but Brown says things could be worse. "Despite our pour local and national economy, we have one of the highest unemployment rates, as our viewers probably know, it's no wonder we don't have even more people homeless."
Despite the high numbers, donations are down at the Good News Rescue Mission, but employees are hoping some star power will motivate people to give. Country star Sara Evans will be performing at the Redding Convention Center on March 3rd to kick off the March to End Hunger Campaign." The partnership couldn't have come at a better time, Ken White from the Good News Rescue Mission explained. "The funding situation over the last three months, we have seen a decline in about 100,000 dollars, so having someone like Sara Evans and her reputation behind an event like this is really going to give us a shot in the arm, we're really excited."
Tickets are available through the Redding Convention Center box office at 225-4130 or online.