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Submitted by Meghan Torjussen on Tue, 09/04/2007 - 11:06pm.

Wilmington City Council considered details of the ten-year plan to end homelessness Tuesday night. Advocates for the ten year plan say homelessness is a problem in our are. One that will require hundreds of thousands of dollars to solve. At last count, the homeless population was at more than six hundred people between New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick counties. While that may not seem high, proponents of the ten year plan say 34 percent are chronically homeless, as compared to the national average of 12 percent. Wilmington City Council heard figures that rank New Hanover County sixth out of 100 counties in the state for released prisoners who live on our streets. "My officers in the street tell me we are still seeing an influx of people who are not from the area, who are not from North Carolina," Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous said. In order to put the ten year plan into effect, proponents say they'd need nearly 300 thousand dollars. That money would come from New Hanover County, the city of Wilmington, Pender and Brunswick counties. Tonight City Council considered the ten year plan and citizens were invited to voice their opinions. "There's always going to be an element of our population that is going to be afflicted but I think that with proper planning, within ten years we can have a serious impact," Wilmington resident Andy Koeppel said. But will the ten year plan actually end homelessness in our area? Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous says it doesn't come without challenges. "We have to make sure that if we are going to help people, we've got to help people that are going to help themselves and that's the difficult part," Evangelous said. City Council didn't make any decisions about the ten year plan Tuesday night. Funding still needs to be approved. Advocates hope to put the plan in motion in October.

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