Point-In-Time Count

Alabama Balance of State CoC Prepares for 2021 Annual Count of Unsheltered Population

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires that communities receiving federal funds from the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program conduct a count of all sheltered people in the last week of January annually. HMIS records are used to enumerate people living in emergency shelters and transitional housing.

In the Alabama Balance of State Counties, a “Street Count” of the unsheltered population takes place annually.

Point-in-time counts are important because they help communities plan services and programs to appropriately address local needs, measure progress in decreasing homelessness, and identify strengths and gaps in a community’s current homelessness assistance system. Collecting data on homelessness and tracking progress can help to inform public education, increase public awareness, and attract resources that will lead towards progress in preventing and ending homelessness.

What will happen in  2021?

The 2021 Point in Time (PIT) survey is scheduled for January 22 - January 31. The Point-in-Time (PIT) count is a tally of sheltered and unsheltered people experiencing homelessness on a single night in January. This year’s PIT presents additional challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. To minimize the risks of COVID exposure, communities will be completing surveys in a way that allows a safe count for both volunteers and the homeless. This change in protocol applies specifically to the count of the unsheltered. For individuals in overnight shelters, the process will remain the same as in past years. The ultimate goal of PIT is to account for as many sheltered and unsheltered homeless people within the Balance of State counties. An accurate count is essential for ARCH and its community partners to acquire information on the area's homeless population and tailor programs and services to stabilize this vulnerable group.

For information on PIT and other volunteer opportunities contact info@archconnection.org, or call 334.273.0668