Point in Time Count to survey Central Oregon homeless population
Point in Time count takes place on January 29; aims to collect data integral to the availability of services preventing homelessness
Bend, OR – The Homeless Leadership Coalition, along with NeighborImpact and other local agencies, will conduct the annual Point-In-Time Count in Central Oregon on January 29-31, 2020.
The Point-In-Time count is a nationwide effort to count every person experiencing homelessness across the country. The count attempts to capture both sheltered, (i.e. living in emergency shelters and transitional housing), and unsheltered, (i.e. living in a place not meant for human habitation, like a car, outside, abandoned building, etc.), individuals experiencing homelessness. Dozens of trained volunteers survey people in shelters, transitional housing, at meal sites and food banks, drop-in centers, health clinics, hotels/motels, campsites, RV parks and through street canvassing.
In addition to the total number of sheltered and unsheltered people experiencing homelessness, the count gathers information on a wide range of characteristics of the homeless population including age, gender, race, ethnicity, veteran status and disability status. The survey is both confidential and anonymous.
These data are used to measure homelessness on a local and national level and are published annually on the Department of Housing and Urban Development ‘s HUD Exchange website. PIT count data are also provided annually to Congress as part of the Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR). The AHAR is used by Congress, HUD, other federal departments and the general public to understand the nature and extent of homelessness, regionally and nationally. PIT count data has become increasingly important as a measure of local and national progress related to preventing and ending homelessness.
The results of the count help to inform HUD’s funding decisions and may affect the resources offered to programs in the region which work toward preventing and ending homelessness.
In addition to informing national priorities and HUD funding decisions, PIT count data are an extremely important source for local program and system planning. To be responsive to the needs of persons experiencing homelessness in the community, local planning bodies need to understand how many individuals and families are being served by their homeless services system, as well as how many are unsheltered and might still need access to services. Current and accurate data on the number and characteristics of homeless persons in the community are useful for policy and planning decisions and enable service providers to adjust the types of services available according to need, resulting in more efficient use of limited resources.
Individuals experiencing homelessness are encouraged to participate and self-report by contacting your local support agency or medical providers in your area. For more information, the media and anyone interested in volunteering is encouraged to contact Colleen Thomas, HLC Co-chair and Homeless Outreach Coordinator with Deschutes County Health Services at the contact information below. Updated locations can be found on the HLC website’s Community Calendar page at: http://www.cohomeless.org/events/
Who Should Participate in the Survey?
- Doubled-up: sharing housing with others, due to the loss of housing or economic hardship.
- Living in motels, hotels or camp grounds, due to lack of housing options.
- Living in a shelter or emergency housing.
- Families or couples having to split up or live in temporary housing, due to the lack of housing.
- Living in a trailer, barn, shed or garage on a relative’s or friend’s property.
- Living with relatives or friends, due to the lack of housing.
- Living in a vehicle, tent, camper, RV (with no hook ups), abandoned home or abandon building
Media contact information:
Colleen Thomas HLC Co-Chair
Work office: 541-317-3153
Work cell: 458-292-6397
About the Central Oregon Homeless Leadership Coalition: The Homeless Leadership Coalition is a collaboration of community partners in Crook, Jefferson, and Deschutes counties, including the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs engaging the community through education, advocacy, planning prioritizing and accountability for services to persons experiencing homelessness. The HLC consists of more than 40 organizations and individuals from the tricounty region. They include shelter providers, public schools, public health, emergency services, veterans outreach, faith communities, public safety, mental health, housing services, public services, private employers, people with lived experience of homelessness and others. They represent a diverse group of interests, unified by a common focus.