Early count reveals over 50 homeless in Knox County

KCEOC employees, volunteers and other organizations recently spent a full day devoted to counting the homeless of Knox County. | Photo Contributed  

KNOX COUNTY — Results for the annual Knox County homeless count or K-Count in accordance with the state is still being processed but preliminary numbers reveal over 50 homeless counted.

Recently, volunteers and organizations spent a day counting the quiet, hidden and not yet housed in Knox County.

KCEOC conducted the annual K-Count on January 29 and while official results aren’t back, at this time KCEOC Homeless Services Manager Beverly Isom knows there are over 50 homeless in and around Knox County.

“I am unsure of a solid number right now because we had to do it all on an app this year, but I can say I know of at least 55-65 that we counted,” Isom said. “The official numbers will be announced by Kentucky Housing later this month.”

Staff with KCEOC, a 501c3 nonprofit organization helping low-income families in six counties throughout southeastern Kentucky, along with volunteers from multiple organizations spent from sun up to sundown traveling across Knox County to gather the data. Their agenda: to gain a better understanding of the homelessness crisis in the Tri-County area and gather accurate and essential statistics of homeless individuals.

Every year, Kentucky Housing Corporation conducts a K-Count to best monitor the homeless situation in Kentucky. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires this every other year, but according to kyhousing.org, KHC believes it best serves individuals in Kentucky to conduct this count yearly.

The last Wednesday in January is the appointed day for agencies to get a homeless count, according to Isom.

“We work hard year round with our investors and local partners to fight against and end homelessness,” she said. “This is the day we get a chance to give the nation a brief snapshot of what one day of the year looks like here in Knox County. When combining the previous two years (2018-2019) in Knox County alone we located over 152 street homeless individuals and provided shelter to over 260 in our Emergency Shelter and Crisis Center.”

Among those mentioned by Isom were elderly, children, women, men, boys and girls. Isom emphasized that homelessness has no respect of person and can happen to almost anyone.

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