On the cold evening of January 22 and into the early morning hour of January 23, more than 300 volunteers joined members of homeless services organizations from all over the city to perform DC’s annual Point in Time Count (PIT Count). The Point-in-Time count provides critical data and insights to service providers and policy makers concerning where to focus city and federal dollars in the on-going struggle to prevent and end homelessness.
The rules for how and when the PIT Count is conducted are dictated by HUD. The count is a snapshot of the homeless population that takes place, nationwide, in the last week of January every year. To streamline the process, this year was the first year the PIT Count was conducted by an app instead of paper and pen. To get the evening started, a kickoff event was held at the Columbia Heights Educational Campus, where Mayor Murial Bowser and Councilmember Brianne Nadeau shared remarks of gratitude and encouragement before the teams spread out over the city to begin the count and survey, which is not required. The survey provides the city with valuable demographic information and includes questions about episodes of homelessness, age, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, and experience with domestic violence.
From 10 pm to 2am, Everyone Home DC lead a team of 12 people, canvassing Capitol Hill streets, sidewalks, buildings, bridges, and back alleyways looking for our homeless neighbors, many of whom have no choice but to live in our public spaces. With the city’s hypothermia alert activated, our PIT team counted a handful of people sleeping outside. View photos from the evening on Everyone Home DC’s Facebook page.
Everyone Home DC is grateful to our staff, our industry colleagues, and everyone who shared their time in this important moment to ensure the count’s success. We look forward to reviewing and sharing the regional analysis, that typically comes out in May, by the Metropolitan Council of Governments
Additional Articles and Resources:
- Message from the Mayor
- Message from Department of Human Services
- “Why the PIT Count Counts“, National Alliance to End Homelessness
- “2020 Point in Time Count will direct future priorities for homeless services“, Street Sense