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Miami, Okla. shelter needs your help with homeless count - FOX 14 TV Joplin and Pittsburg News Weather Sports |

Miami, Okla. shelter needs your help with homeless count

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MIAMI, OKLAHOMA -

A homeless shelter in Miami, Oklahoma is looking for help.  To receive grants the shelter is required to take a count of the homeless population within the city.

Bart Sears is a resident of the Miami shelter, The Harbor.

"They've allowed me to just grow in ways that I probably wouldn't have been able to do in any other atmosphere," Sears says.

Sears was suffering from a drug and alcohol related problem.  After rehab he knew what he wanted to do with his life.

Start over and go to college.

"For me it's just a real positive environment," says Sears.  "I would suggest to anyone if they want to come here, to get not only a fresh start, but a start in a way that their life can be very productive."

Starting over is why the shelter was created.

"Our goal is to put structure back into their lives so they can slowly get back into mainstream living," says Rick Aldridge, the director of the Harbor.  "There's not a lot of industry and the job market is very shallow.  The economy right now is up and down and the other issue we have is, with the draw down of the military, those folks will be coming into civilian world, wanting jobs, needing jobs as well so we strongly believe the homeless numbers are going to go up."

With an increasing homeless population in the area, Aldridge says the Harbor needs your help as well.

The hope of the Harbor is that the community can pull together and start taking an accurate count of the homeless population living in Miami to help them get off the streets and into a warm environment.

"People of Miami, residents of Miami, if there are people aware of someone that they believe to be homeless, if they notice the same person in a neighborhood that maybe wonders around and doesn't appear to have a residence, or some place that they're staying, please call us," says Miami Police Chief George Haralson.

Helping the city get an accurate account of the homeless population will help more residents get back on their feet.

If you know of a homeless person in Miami, Oklahoma please contact the shelter or call the Miami Police Department at 918.542.5585.

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