Lexington’s annual homeless count could move to bi-annual

WEKU | by Stu Johnson

The director of Lexington’s Office of Homelessness Prevention and Intervention is hoping to see new measures implemented to gauge the size of those needing services. Jeff Herron gave an annual report to Council members last week. Herron said one change would be to expand out in the field counting.

“We are looking to the future to try to implement more than one point in time count throughout the calendar year. It’s something that we didn’t have the ability to get off the ground this year. When we did that count in January we operated with over 150 volunteers,” said Herron.

Herron noted the first expansion might be to add a point in time count during the summer months. In his report to Council, the OHPI director said there were cleanup activities over the last year at 17 different homeless encampments. Herron added one site was cleaned up five times and another four.

The head of Lexington’s coordination of services to the homeless says new ways to reach those without housing are always being explored. Following his presentation, Herron said that out in the-field services are sometimes the best option.

“If there is a barrier to getting someone to complete a psychiatric evaluation by coming into an office, how can we get a clinician out in the field in front of that individual to complete that evaluation where they are..rather than hold on to an arbitrary barrier,” said Herron.

Herron said Eastern State Hospital has attained some funding to carry out assisted outpatient treatment which might help connect persons with court-ordered treatment.

Here’s more with Jeff Herron of OHPI:


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Photo by Stu Johnson for WEKU

Republished with permission.