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Count of unsheltered homeless canceled in South Dakota

January 25, 2021 GMT

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — State officials have canceled the annual count of South Dakota’s unsheltered homeless population because of the coronavirus pandemic and other concerns.

The count is usually done on the last Tuesday of January.

Sara Hornick, coordinator of homeless services for Volunteers of America - Northern Rockies and Rapid City, said the Department of Housing and Urban Development made the decision not to do the count this year.

The pandemic, lack of personal protection equipment and an insufficient number of volunteers played a role in the decision, Hornick said.

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The count of homeless people in shelters will still take place Tuesday.

Hornick and other regional coordinators are concerned about how the decision will impact the level of federal funding.

The January 2020 count showed Rapid City had 353 total homeless with 192 people unsheltered and 161 in shelters, the Rapid City Journal reported.