Volunteers count homeless population in Quad Cities

SCOTT COUNTY, IOWA-- Linda Morrow has struggled with being homeless most of her life.

"At the age of three years old I was already out there in the streets," said Morrow.

She drifted from living space to living space and sometimes resorted to sleeping in the snow.

For a few months Morrow found a place to stay at the shelter with the Humility of Mary Shelter in Davenport. In order for volunteers to help people like Morrow every year they count the number of people facing homelessness in the area.

More than 20 volunteers took to the streets on February 1st, to count the number of homeless people in Scott County.

Twice a year Scott County Housing Council and local shelters participate in Point in Time Count, a way to keep track homeless people.

They searched in parking lots, cars, and bridges.

"If you pay attention you'll see people sleeping overnight in parking lots in their cars," said Leslie Kilgannon, Scott County Housing Council Director.

In July 2017, about 350 people were counted as homeless in Scott County according to officials. Keeping track of the homeless population helps the state determine which areas need more funds.

"It paints a picture not perfect but it does give people a sense of the needs  (...) services and funding we need to help people who are experiencing homelessness," said Kilgannon.

She says there's been strides in getting aid but says there is still more work to be done to keep people off the streets.

"The ultimate goal is if people have a need and they want a place to stay our community is able to provide one and we're not there yet," said Kilgannon.