Colorado

Jan 30, 2013 8:30 PM by Annie Snead

Annual homeless survey takes place in Colorado Springs

On any given night across the U.S. 675,000 people don't have a place to sleep.
Wednesday, the annual homeless survey took place at the Marian House Soup Kitchen in Colorado Springs.
It's a way to get funding for the homeless and find out just how many are in our area.
"I'm expecting that it might be a little bit higher than last year," said Anne Beer.
Beer is the director of community information systems at Pikes Peak United Way.
She says a number of factors could contribute to more homeless - including the economy.
The annual homeless survey is used to gain much-needed funding.
"We're now at the rate of about 4 and half million dollars worth of funding that comes in to Colorado Springs, El Paso County," Beer said.
Beer says about two million of that is specifically for the veteran population.
And they're looking at a couple of categories more specifically this year, they're seeing a rise in 18 to 24 year olds and female veterans.
"We don't get all the benefits we deserve as veterans and we end up in the streets," said Richard Mantos.
A veteran himself, Matos comes to the soup kitchen every day and appreciates the help.
He thinks the survey is great because by knowing the number of homeless people and demographics there can be more help.
He wants folks to know the stereotypes placed on the homeless aren't always the case.
"There's a lot of us out there who haven't even used drugs in our lives and we're out here too seeking help and it's cold out here," he said.
Anne beer also tells us El Paso County is at capacity almost all the time with the 850 beds they have at shelters. And they are seeing more families than they have in the past.

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