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Point-in-Time Count January 2011. What Does It Mean to Count Homeless People?. A “count” = collecting information about the sheltered and unsheltered homeless population in your community. Descriptive information on those counted Demographic Service Use Needs.

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what does it mean to count homeless people
What Does It Mean to Count Homeless People?

A “count” = collecting information about the sheltered and unsheltered homeless population in your community

  • Descriptive
  • information on
  • those counted
  • Demographic
  • Service Use
  • Needs

Point-in-time count of homeless

people

Data on the

number of

homeless

people

+

=

It is possible just to do a count, but preferable to gather descriptive information, too - it will make your count much more valuable and informative!

why is the pit important
Why is the PIT Important?
  • Identify gaps in services
  • Generates resources for the community
  • Local data for planning & measuring progress
  • Data is reported in CoC application
  • AHAR to Congress
  • HUD Data Exchange System (HDX)
data collected
Data Collected
  • Subpopulation Information required for CoC
    • Chronically homeless
    • Severely mentally ill
    • Chronic substance abuse
    • Veterans
    • Persons with HIV/AIDS
    • Victims of domestic violence
    • Unaccompanied youth (Under 18)
    • Persons with physical disabilities
additional data
Additional Data
  • Medical care
  • Transportation issues
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Childcare
  • Locality of homelessness
methods for data collection
Methods for Data Collection
  • Provider data collection
    • Total number of households and persons residing in facilities on the night of the count
    • Number in each of the seven subpopulation categories
  • Client level data collection
    • Staff complete individual surveys for each client using case management records or their knowledge of the client
    • CoC staff, volunteers, or program staff interview clients directly
challenges for rural areas
Challenges for Rural Areas
  • Lack of shelters
  • Where to look for unsheltered homeless people
  • Remoteness
  • Availability of staff and volunteer resources
  • Belief that there are no, or very few, unsheltered homeless
  • Limited resources/funding
overcoming challenges
Overcoming Challenges
  • Engage local departments of social services
  • Call upon local colleges and universities
  • Utilize the faith community
  • Make contact with local jails
  • Mail carriers
  • Contact mental health agencies/community service boards
  • You may even want to contact local hotel owners that may know of people who stay periodically
when to start
When to Start. . .
  • At least 6 months prior to January due date
  • Train volunteers
  • Conduct a trial run for unsheltered count with emphasis on engaging street homeless
  • Meet with service providers
  • Review prior year’s survey for inconsistencies
your survey tool
Your Survey Tool
  • Keep the survey instrument simple
  • Collect universal data elements (race, gender, ethnicity)
  • Develop key codes to ensure there is no duplication
resources
Resources
  • www.hudhre.gov
  • http://www.hudhre.info/documents/counting_unsheltered.pdf
  • http://www.hudhre.info/documents/counting_sheltered.pdf

You have not lived a perfect day...unless you have done something for someone who will never be able to repay you.

~ Ruth Smeltzer

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