Wheaton Survey Targets Homeless Problem in City

Article excerpt

Byline: Mike Burke Daily Herald Staff Writer

The opinions of mail carriers, police officers, librarians and store owners in Wheaton and surrounding towns soon will be sought for a study on homelessness.

A Wheaton task force is preparing a survey that will be distributed to select groups, as well as a random number of households.

In addition, a Northwestern University professor likely will be hired to do an independent evaluation for the city's homeless study.

Wheaton Mayor C. James Carr recently appointed a task force to study homelessness in the city and make recommendations regarding related problems, such as panhandling.

Task force chairman Ivan Fahs said the survey's purpose is to determine how severe the homeless problem is in Wheaton, as compared to surrounding communities.

Local business owners and managers probably will be asked to complete the survey this month.

"We need to hear from the business people," Fahs said.

Other groups, both in Wheaton and surrounding towns, then will be targeted and asked to complete the survey, probably after the holidays. They include police officers, librarians and even mail carriers.

"These people are also on the streets and know our community very well," Fahs said.

To keep expenses down, the survey likely will be distributed and picked up by volunteers, Fahs said. …