OKLAHOMA CITY — The Governor's Interagency Council on Homelessness is looking for public input to help create a new five-year plan to combat homelessness in the state.

GICH is comprised of a 25-member advisory body with representatives from the public, private and nonprofit sectors appointed by the governor, according to the council.

"Members work to increase capacity and strengthen infrastructure at the state and local levels to ensure organizations and individuals working to end homelessness are successful," according to the council.

These efforts include the coordinating and connecting of resources, identifying and filling gaps in current systems and policies, facilitating collaboration and serving as a hub for statewide communication, according to GICH. 

"Oklahomans are best served when we work effectively and efficiently across programs to ensure a coordinated, person-centered approach to increase access to both housing and services," said Ed Long, GICH chair. "We must also do a better job throughout the state of integrating evidence-based practices and promoting innovation at the local level. The input we receive will help guide these efforts."

 There are 4,199 Oklahomans identified as homeless in the state from a annual one-night census conducted by a Point-in-Time Count, according to the council. It's estimated the annual number of people who experience homelessness are four to five times that number, or about 17,000 to 21,000 Oklahomans. 

For more information or to provide input for the state plan, visit www.gich.ok.gov or contact Rebekah Zahn at rebekah.zahn@okcommerce.gov or (405) 255-3166. 

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I was born near Denver, later moved to Selah, Washington and then attended the University of Kansas, graduating in May 2017. Prior to Enid News, I interned with the Yakima-Herald Republic and wrote arts and features for the University Daily Kansan.