Fourteen Region 8 counties are part of a nation wide count of the homeless. - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Searcy, AR -- Brandi Hodges Reports

Fourteen Region 8 counties are part of a nation wide count of the homeless.

January 24, 2007 -- Posted at 5:21 p.m. CST

SEARCY, AR -- A meal was served on Wednesday to entice people in White County to get counted.  In all there are nineteen counties in the state that are spending the day counting the homeless.

A count held over a year ago found that there are over 1,300 homeless people in this area.

Blaine Kalb spent a good portion of his adult life suffering from depression and addiction.

"I would get out and get a job and get built back up and then I would start drinking again and lose everything," said Kalb.

That inconsistent lifestyle landed him living in the woods of the St. Francis National Forest, and Kalb said, for the homeless that is not uncommon.

"Homeless people in rural areas are spread out they're in abandoned places like cars and barns and nobody sees them," said Kalb.

"There are a lot of people out there that just need a warm place to stay," said Nancy Coleman of Health Resources of Arkansas.

Each person that came through the line was given a form to fill out asking them to detail their living situation over the past few years.

"These programs are built to help people who have an addiction like me and kicking the habit and having the chance to get back out there and on my feet and be a good mother is my number one goal at this point," said Summer McEullen.

"Nobody who knew me or knew the situation I was in would have ever given me much of a chance of getting better," said Kalb.

With an accurate count homeless shelters will likely get more funding and a chance to help more people.

The numbers from each of the 19 counties should be tabulated by the end of February.

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