TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – On Wednesday, local organizers spent the day searching under bridges and homeless camps, counting the number of homeless people in Topeka.
They say the process helps groups who work with the homeless get federal money to help them.
According to Valeo Behavioral Health Care, the number of homeless people in Topeka is rising.
They say it’s important for the community to see these individuals get the help they need.
Teresa Dorsey is among Topeka’s homeless population.
“What brought me here was I was living off the streets,” Dorsey said. “I was addicted to drugs.”
According to Valeo Behavioral Health, there were more than 400 people living on the streets last year, and those numbers are expected to go up.
Valeo says they work with a number of homeless people who want to better themselves and reconnect with the community, but not everyone knows their help is available.
“Until we deal with their mental illness and get them stable through medication and through therapy, all the different resources that we have at Valeo, it’s going to be incredibly difficult for them to change,” Aimee Copp-Hasty, with Behavioral Health, said.
Their hope is to decrease the number of homeless people this year by getting more people the mental health services they need.
They say that help will allow people like Teresa to regain their independence and reconnect with the community.