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Montgomery Co. Focuses On Homeless During Community Service Week

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A variety of medical services were avialable for individuals both homeless and just "in transition" at Homeless Resource Day in Gaithersburg, Md. 
Elliott Francis
A variety of medical services were avialable for individuals both homeless and just "in transition" at Homeless Resource Day in Gaithersburg, Md. 

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments held a one day review of the homeless population in Montgomery County in January. The results revealed 1,132 homeless people living in Montgomery County, a 6 percent increase from the previous year. 

To combat those numbers, the county held Homeless Resource Day Oct. 19. More than 60 vendors offered free services from legal guidance to medical care that can help mitigate the difficulties of having no place to stay. One representative even offered haircuts.

"We have brought those services together, and we have invited people from shelters and encampments to come in and receive those services and sign up for more services later," says Nadim Khan, Chief of Special needs housing for the county's Department of Health. 

Not everyone here is homeless. Denise Cook is in a situation referred to as "transitional." She's one of many who suddenly find themselves out of their home, but fortunate enough to have temporary shelter with a friend or relative. She's getting a long overdue eye exam. 

"It' been at least two years. My funds have been kind of short so this is perfect," she says. 

Although the Homeless Resource effort only runs one day, the county's Community Service Week, which seeks to engage residents in local volunteer work, runs through Saturday.

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