Today’s post comes to us from Alliance research associate Pete Witte.
Earlier this year I wrote here about the annual point-in-time (PIT) counts being conducted across the country, and explained why the PIT counts are so important for helping us to understand homelessness and measure progress we’re making toward ending the problem.
Well, it’s that time of year again when local media stories announcing the results of their January point-in-time (PIT) slowly begin to sprout up in daily clips.
The Alliance is collecting and mapping these media accounts or, when available, the Continuum of Care (CoC) reports in order to provide a sense of the changing homeless situation in communities across the country. These reports are the basis of our new and—considering federal budget conversations where homeless programs are at-risk of being cut—timely, interactive 2011 Counts Media Map, which tracks reports on changes in overall homelessness (increases are noted by a red-colored placemarker and decreases are in green).
Amid current economic and budgetary conversations, providing a sense about the change in homeless counts across the country is important and timely, especially considering how homeless, health care, employment, and other aid programs are increasingly at-risk of being cut.
Tracking the 2011 PIT counts also provides an opportunity to get a sense on how much progress is being made at ending homelessness at the federal level, since the 2011 PIT counts will be the first count where both HPRP and Opening Doors have had the opportunity to affect communities.
And what’s more – we need your help!
Has a media source or CoC in your community released a report that shows overall homeless changes between the January 2011 count and the last January count? Please let us know; you can email me directly and we’ll be sure to add your community’s results to our interactive map.
Thanks in advance for your help!
A note about what we’re looking for: the Alliance mapped media reports back in 2009 – the last time that all CoC’s were required by HUD to conduct a PIT count. In that map, we tracked a number of different factors in the counts. This time around, however, we’re only interested in mapping overall population increases or decreases to present a visual picture of the state of homelessness in the country. For more information or clarity about our map, please email us.