The La Paz Coalition to End Homelessness wants to do a summer census of the chronically homeless population in La Paz County. At the coalition meeting held July 2 at the BlueWater Resort & Casino, Coalition Director Ortensia Yazzie said they hope to conduct this census in late August.

Yazzie said they needed approval from the Colorado River Indian Tribes’ Ethics Committee to conduct the census on the CRIT Reservation.

The coalition is required to do a “head count” of homeless in the county every year by the Arizona Department of Housing. The coalition is funded by ADOH, which receives funding from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development.

Yazzie said this will be a supplemental census to the one they did in late January. She said they wanted to find out how much the homeless population in the county changed during the summer months, if at all.

They will be looking for the “chronically homeless,” including those who live in parks, cars, camps in the desert or non-functional RVs or motor homes. In addition to a head count, they’ll be asking how people became homeless, how long they’ve been homeless, and what resources they may need.

“The census should show us the holes in what we’re missing and the resources we need to bring in,” Yazzie said.

In January, Yazzie said they found 67 people in Parker, Quartzsite and Ehrenberg who qualified as chronically homeless. She added she and the coalition members know there are many more that were missed.

By way of comparison, Mohave County had 207 who were chronically homeless, Pinal County had 137, Yavapai County had 91, Coconino County had 88 and Yuma County had 77.

For more information or to volunteer to work with the homeless census, call the Regional Center for Border Health at 928-669-6242.

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