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City of Huntington launches initiative to find homeless permanent housing

The city began reaching out to area homeless along the Ohio River Thursday to find permanent housing and clean up debris. (WCHS/WVAH)

The city of Huntington and several agencies launched an initiative to help the homeless find permanent housing or shelter before the arrival of winter.

The city began reaching out to area homeless along the Ohio River between Harris Riverfront Park and 23rd Street West on Thursday, according to a news release from the city. Workers will also clean up debris along the the riverbanks.

Preparations for the effort began two months ago after Continuum of Care agencies and the Huntington Police Department heard concerns from outreach workers. The workers regularly visited those who lived along the river and worried about the health hazards from trash and physical altercations.

Many of the people at the riverfront have moved, found housing or are in the process of finding permanent housing, Amanda Coleman of the Cabell-Huntington Coalition for the Homeless said.

“Our city has a tradition within its core values to show compassion to those who are having difficulty in life,” Mayor Steve Williams said. “Our city does not turn its back on those less fortunate. Compassion is always the right course when helping those who are struggling.”

The agencies participating include Cabell-Huntington-Wayne Continuum of Care and namely the Cabell-Huntington Coalition for the Homeless, Huntington West Virginia Housing Authority, Prestera Center, Information and Referral, Branches Domestic Violence Shelter and the Huntington City Mission. The Huntington Mayor’s Office, Huntington Police Department, Department of Public Works, Department of Planning and Development and Greater Huntington Park and Recreation District are also assisting.

The effort is expected to continue into Friday.

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