Homeless count underway in Palm Beah County

LAKE WORTH, Fla. - Going from park to park in Lake Worth, armed with a clip board Dessie Caraccio and her team met dozens of homeless people.

"Have you ever served in active duty or armed forces," Caraccio asked John Ghoto.

"Yes, I was in the Navy," he replied.

Caraccio is part of a group of employees and volunteers going around Palm Beach County to count the number of homeless people in the area.

They're doing it for a 24-hour period by going to more than 100 different sites.

The count determines how much federal funds the county gets to help people in need.

She asks a number of questions during a survey, none more important than this one.

"Do you have a regular place to stay right now," Caraccio asked. 

For more than 300 in Palm Beach County who were surveyed today, the answer was no.

Ghoto, a 66-year-old disabled veteran lost his apartment two months ago.

"We got evicted," he said. "We didn't have the money to pay next month's rent."

He relies on his social security check, but in this case it wasn't enough.

"We got stuck out here on the streets and it's no fun," Ghoto said. "It's uncomfortable. I'd like to have a nice place to live."

It's new territory for Ghoto.

Kevin Rood can't say the same.

He's been living in different parks for the past four years.

"I use to have so much in my life," he said. "I'm not a loser. I may look like one but I just have put myself in a loser's hole for a while."

He says for 27 years he was a chef then he started having health problems, which made it hard for him to find work.

"I'm trying to climb out of this hole," he said. "I'm trying so hard. Every step that I take it's always something there that's going to tell me you can't advance."

Despite the obstacles, he's still trying to find work where he can while hoping for better days.

Ghoto is hoping for the same.

"You know it's not your real life. You know you have a better life somewhere," Ghoto said. "You just have to find it."

 

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