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Homeless Survey

Several groups are coming together in Selma to create a homeless shelter.

Ainka Jackson, executive director of the Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth and Reconciliation said her organization and many others will meet Thursday for the Selma Anti-Poverty Roundtable discussion at the Edmundite Missions Center of Hope at 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The American Bar Association Commission on Homelessness and Poverty, Alabama Rural Coalition for the Homeless, Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth and Reconciliation, Edmundite Missions and other organizations are partnering in the effort.

“We have people that are homeless and they don’t have a place to stay. They don’t have a temporary place to stay and they don’t have a long-term place to stay,” Jackson said. “So when people are homeless, there are agencies like the Edmundite Missions, that are working with us as well, who will help them find places, but that’s not always immediate.”

The initial goal of the program is to eliminate policies, practices and procedures that unfairly worsen the harmful effects of poverty on low-income people and communities.

Anyone wanting to volunteer is invited to participate in the meeting and learn about Point-in-Time Count.

“People will have a brief training about what the Point-in-Time Count is and how to administer the Point-in-Time Count and from there we will actually go out in the community and survey people who may be homeless,” Jackson said. “We are trying to address this in a holistic way so not just to help people get in a temporary shelter or not just to help them get in to a home, but to be able to maintain that.”

Jackson said the shelter is something that she hopes to have up and running soon.

“One of the things we’re trying to work on is a transitional homeless shelter where people can stay for a few days until another agency can come and help place them,” Jackson said.

“It’s important to us that no resident of Selma, no family, no children, no mother, no father is out in the cold in the rain and the storms.”