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Covering Hamilton and Robbinsville townships in-depth for The Trentonian. I can be reached at (609) 989-7800 ext. 207 or (609) 468-6962. Email me at or follow me @awisefool.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Volunteers scour Mercer for homeless

Approaching the homeless can be a delicate process; most individuals don’t, after all, look any different from anyone else. Thursday afternoon, volunteer Ben Thornton took a roundabout approach.
“Hi, we’re doing a survey of people who are homeless,” he would say. “Do you know where anyone like that is staying?”
Thornton, who has volunteered for the past six Point in Time counts, said even if they aren’t homeless they can provide a tip to someone who is. He, along with volunteers around the country, search for a number, even a rough one, to describe the country’s population of homeless every January.
Teams of volunteers on shifts went out Wednesday and Thursday to various parts of Mercer County in vans packed with blankets, food and clothing for the cold weather. Driving past the empty lots, parks and wooded areas of Trenton and beyond, they looked for telltale signs: tarpaulins, tents, backpacks and people rustling through garbage cans.
Tarry Truitt, the director of projects and communications for the Mercer County Alliance to End Homelessness, helped organize the count, as well as an employment-focused workshop called Project Homeless Connect on Tuesday.
She said the volunteers collected more than 100 surveys from people on the streets. The rest of the count will come in the next few weeks from more than a dozen agencies and emergency shelters throughout the county.
You can read the full story here.


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