Having reliable local data plays an important role in raising public awareness of the challenges with homelessness and in securing more resources from public and private sources to address the issue. One way this data is collected is through an annual count of homeless individuals in communities that receive federal funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Continuum of Care (CoC) and Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Programs.
The annual Point-in-Time Counts (PIT) occur on one day during the last 10 days of January. The next PIT count in the 80 rural Ohio counties known as the Balance of State Continuum of Care (BoSCoC) will take place on Jan. 23, 2018.
Each PIT count is planned, coordinated, and carried out locally. For greatest accuracy and reliability on local homeless populations, CoC staff develop volunteer training materials, finalize surveys, and train our enumerators months prior to the PIT Count. Many CoCs use the data collected to make policy and planning decisions.
This year, in addition to the regular PIT count, Southeast Ohio is also developing strategies to better count and understand their homeless youth population. This effort is a part of the Southeast Ohio Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program, a HUD-funded initiative to end youth homelessness in the region. Southeast Ohio was one of 10 regions in the U.S. to win a YHDP grant this year.
COHHIO will provide three webinars, to be made available on our website, to help prepare local communities to conduct the required PIT count. The first will be an overview of the PIT and HIC (Housing Inventory Count) processes and why we do them, the second is an overview PIT volunteer training, and the third is a focus on youth PIT count. Tentative dates for these webinars are Nov. 28, Dec. 4, and Dec. 11 respectively.
For more information on PIT and HIC, visit the BoSCoC Point in Time Count page.