Preliminary numbers are in for last week's Point-in-Time homeless count in Casper.   Robin Mundell for the City of Casper's Department of Housing and Community Development shares some of the results.

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At the end of the day last Wednesday the Point in time count  in Casper tallied 625 persons in the city living without a fixed abode.  Of those counted, 197 were in shelters with 428 people either with out shelter or living with a friend or relative...Robin Mundell is also president of the Wyoming Homeless collaborative.

"This year the federal government gave us a little more latitude in saying that you could count people who lived doubled up as being homeless, because they did not have their own residence. That's something that many of the social service providers have been pushing for for quite some time."

Also a 'first' this year was the participation of the Casper Police Department.  Mundell says officers accompanied the agency volunteers who were carrying out the count.

"They were in plain cloths and they were not being a threat in anyway and we were just there strictly for the counting part. They also seem to know a lot more of the haunts maybe then some of the traditional service providers might know, because they encounter these folks on a little more regular basis."

She says Casper has 241 beds available in the city for homeless individuals. The Point-in-Time Count indicates the city is  short by about 400 beds.

Mundell also reminds that Wyoming's homeless population drops in the Winter during the cold weather; those that  do  stay are those with ties to the community.  What this means, Mundell says, is that the homeless population here Casper are actually our own fellow citizens who've hit upon some hard times.

She says a statistical breakdown has yet to be done, but will provide a rough profile of Casper's homeless population.