Introduction:

Every year local agencies and organizations conduct a count to determine the extent of homelessness in their community. The Point-in-Time (PIT) count aims to provide a snapshot of the individuals and families experiencing homelessness in a geographical area, over the course of one night. Communities will count people who are:

In addition to gathering a headcount of those experiencing homelessness, volunteers are also asked to gather information about the demographic characteristics of the survey participants, information related to their experience with homelessness, and connect them to potential resources.

HUD requires each area to conduct the unsheltered count at least biennially during the last ten days of January and the sheltered count annually. The Texas Balance of State Continuum of Care (TX BoS CoC) opts to conduct the full count every year though. HUD acknowledges that the street count will not totally reflect the exact amount of homeless in communities, but hopes to provide a snapshot of the number of people experiencing homelessness on any given night. This is often referred to as the minimum number of individuals experiencing homelessness in a community, on a single night.

What to expect:

Volunteers will conduct surveys of people experiencing homelessness. Depending on your community you may provide information during your shift related to resources and/or this data may be used for service providers to go back out after the count to connect unhoused neighbors to resources. Prior to the count, volunteers will be assigned a shift time as well as a list of locations to survey at. Each community will have their own sign-up process to select shift times.

Each volunteer is expected to complete a training and your local PIT Lead will inform you of which training method they will be using. Most trainings are no more than an hour and will provide information related to who and where to count, how to use the mobile app, and any specific local information you will need to know.

To access general PIT count resources, you can go to the Texas Homeless Network website at:
https://www.thn.org/texas-balance-state-continuum-care/data/pit-count-and-hic/

You can also contact the Data Manager at kyra@thn.org or (512) 861-2192.

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