Homeless issues in spotlight for study

By the end of the year, a study will show what local agencies and churches are doing to help homeless residents and what else can be done.

The United Way of Johnson County has contracted with a research firm in Bloomington, which will spend the rest of this year analyzing which local organizations have resources for homeless residents and how helpful that assistance truly is. The firm also will try to get an accurate count of the number of homeless people living in the area, United Way of Johnson County executive director Nancy Lohr Plake said.

Since 2008, the United Way has been providing economic assistance and guidance to people who lost their jobs in the recession or who aren’t making enough money to support themselves and their families. Working with residents who don’t have permanent homes is the next logical step in helping those in need, Plake said.

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