What is the Point-In-Time (PIT) count?
As part of its Continuum of Care (CoC) application for homelessness funding, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires that jurisdictions across the nation conduct a statistically reliable and unduplicated count of the homeless for one overnight period during the last 10 days of January. This is known at the Point-In-Time (PIT) count. The Fredericksburg Regional CoC conducts a Winter PIT count each year, for both sheltered and unsheltered populations, to more accurately track the number and the needs of the region’s homeless population. The PIT count is planned, coordinated, and carried out locally, and the information gathered is used by our community to better allocate housing resources and services in order to prevent and end homelessness. The PIT Count is the only opportunity throughout the year for most communities to take a comprehensive look at the total homeless population, and is especially crucial in assessing the needs of the unsheltered homeless.
The PIT survey is an important tool in collecting data on the number, characteristics, and service needs of individuals, families, and unaccompanied children experiencing homelessness throughout the region. The resulting data is a critical component of local homeless planning and program development. Accurate data helps communities to:
- Understand changes in trends among homeless populations;
- Adjust the types of programs and services available according to need in order to use resources as efficiently as possible;
- Justify requests for additional resources and/or programming modifications;
- Comply with reporting requirements from HUD, other funders, and local stakeholders;
- Raise public awareness about the issue of homelessness; and
- Measure community progress toward preventing and ending homelessness.
Nationally, the PIT count process is used as the primary data source for federal agencies to understand homelessness trends and track progress against the goals and objectives contained in Opening Doors, the Federal Strategic Plan to End Homelessness. Additionally, the Congressionally-mandated Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) is prepared using PIT and Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) data.
2020 Winter PIT Count
When is the 2020 Winter PIT Count?
The date for the 2020 Winter Point-in-Time count has been set for the night of Wednesday, January 22nd. Volunteer and staff will be participating in PIT count activities will throughout the night of January 22nd and all day on Thursday January 23rd.
How is the count conducted?
Throughout the planning district, teams of volunteers and staff canvass each of the districts five jurisdictions and survey people who are without shelter. In addition, all of the area’s emergency shelter providers also provide client data for the same day and administer surveys to clients residing in the shelter on the night of the count.
How do I volunteer to help with the count?
Volunteers must be 18 years old and attend mandatory training. To volunteer, register online by January 17, 2020.