The Ross County Continuum of Care counted 8 before storms halted the search.
An unofficial count of the homeless in Ross County was cut short due to area storms, Thursday. Tabitha Muse, with the Ross County Continuum of Care, said eight homeless people were tallied, but they learned of new places these individuals are staying.
"There were a couple campsites that we came across that did not have anybody, but they were active sites that had clothes hanging and food that was still there; they must have just left during the day."
Muse said the summer count was held to give the Continuum a better idea of where to find the homeless when the mandated count rolls around in January.
Thursday's count was intended to run all day but was halted after 5 p.m. due to storms.
In addition, she said making sure the count is precise is very important, especially when it comes to applying for grant funds for homelessness initiatives: "When we can't find the numbers accurately on that day, it makes it difficult to show that we do have a need even though we see those people every single day."
What's perhaps even more limiting to the count, Muse said, is the HUD standard for homelessness; HUD classifies a homeless person as one who is without a home for 15 consecutive days or at least 4 times within a year.
Muse said she feels the definition leaves out many others who might go back and forth between staying in a tent and with a friend or family member.
"Just because they're not staying in that tent for 15 consecutive days does not mean they are not homeless in my book," said Muse.
Over twenty people made up the local homeless count in January.