In the next two weeks, volunteers across the country will set out to conduct a count of all homeless persons in their communities. Though it may be too late sign up to volunteer in your community’s 2015 Point-in-Time Count (here in D.C., volunteer registration is already closed), you can still help us out at the Alliance.
Every year the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires communities to conduct sheltered counts of people living in emergency shelter or transitional housing. Every other year, HUD requires communities to conduct unsheltered counts of people living in a place unfit for human habitation (such as in an abandoned building or in a park). This year is one of the years that both counts are required, so every community will be conducting both a sheltered and an unsheltered count.
Here at the Alliance, we track this data as it is released. Different communities release their count data at different times, and we want to know which communities are reporting an increase in homelessness and which ones are reporting a decrease. Of course, there are a lot of communities across the nation, so we can’t do this without your help.
Last year, with the help of partners around the country, we collected 2014 PIT Count data from media reports and Continuum of Care/government websites to assemble this interactive map of data. Looking at the data on a map helps give us—and others—a sense of how the different communities are progressing in advance of HUD’s Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress.
It might be a while before communities start releasing their 2015 data. But when they do, we want to know. When you hear of new data—whether in your community or in other communities—please let us know by emailing a link to the story or website to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re hoping to gather data from even more communities this year.
With the importance of the upcoming PIT Count in mind, we recently gathered experts from HUD and a variety of communities/service providers for a series of webinars covering best practices for conducting the Pit Count. You can find recording presentations from those webinar here: Webinar Recordings: Prepare for the 2015 Point-in-Time Count.
To all the Continuums of Care, organizers, staff, and volunteers who will be conducting the 2015 PIT counts in the coming days, we thank you. Please know that you’re doing important work.