Church leads effort to count homeless

DOWNEY - Believing that "all things are possible," Rev. Christie Melby-Gibbons is inviting local residents to join the Moravian Church of Downey in a program that she believes will lay the ground work to "end chronic and veteran homelessness in Downey." Known as "Registry Week," the program will attempt to count and create a by-name registry of people living on the city's streets. Melby-Gibbons explains that a detailed survey will enable the organizers to identify those people who have been homeless the longest and those who are most vulnerable.

On Tuesday, Jan. 29, teams will meet at the Moravian Church for training, and then travel throughout the city to do a homeless count. Teams will return the next two nights to conduct surveys of situation and need. Volunteers, Melby-Gibbons explains, need to commit to all three nights to assure consistency.

Data entry from the surveys will be done at the Southern California Rehabilitation Services, and results will be available to the community on Feb. 2. The program developed from a partnership with Los Angeles Housing Services Authority. The slogan for the Downey project is: "Ending homelessness one neighbor at a time."

For those who would like to participate, a Volunteer Information Night will be held Monday, Jan. 21, from 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm, at the Moravian Church of Downey, 10337 Old River School Road, Downey.

People can also sign up at the website:, or they can inquire by email to

********** Published: January 17, 2013 - Volume 11 - Issue 40