Volunteers to find 51 homes for homeless

Published: Apr. 11, 2011 at 2:57 AM MST|Updated: Apr. 15, 2011 at 10:51 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD) – A group is about to walk the streets of Tucson and take a census of the homeless people.

Using a scientific system, they will give 51 Section 8 housing vouchers to the most vulnerable.

"Every time I see someone who's homeless and who's needing help,"  Clarke McCleave said, "I always think that could've been me."

McCleave is staying at a shelter for veterans.

This is part of national effort to get 100,000 homeless people off the streets by 2013.

"Essentially, those folks are going to die if they stay on the street," one of the team leaders Ron Koenig said.

Koenig has already volunteered on a similar project in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

"The thought was, 'I can't believe you're out here doing this,'" Koenig said, "they were very surprised and very thankful."

Volunteers signed up and trained for the project Sunday afternoon at Temple Eman-El in Midtown.

They will meet at First Christian Church on Monday and Tuesday mornings, then spread out to interview homeless people.

The group is called 51homes. They will release what they find Friday.

A homeless man who called himself Mackie said, "any group that is attempting to do that, it's a step in the right direction."

But Mackie does not think the project will solve homelessness in Tucson.

"It's a band-aid," Mackie said, "but it's a good start."

More information can be found at 100kHomes.org.

Copyright KOLD 2011. All rights reserved.