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VOLUNTEER GUIDANCE UNSHELTERED COUNT Missouri Balance of State Point-in-Time Count.

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Presentation on theme: "VOLUNTEER GUIDANCE UNSHELTERED COUNT Missouri Balance of State Point-in-Time Count."— Presentation transcript:

1 VOLUNTEER GUIDANCE UNSHELTERED COUNT Missouri Balance of State Point-in-Time Count

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3 What is a Homeless Point-in-Time (PIT) Count?  Definition:  Count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons on a single night in January  The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires an annual count during odd years  Missouri Balance of State conducts one count annually each winter

4 Why Count?  Data collected during PIT is critical for effective planning and performance management toward the goal of ending homelessness  Counting unsheltered helps ensure that people with the highest needs are taken into account for community and state planning

5 Why Count?  In addition, the Point-in-Time Count: Provides current and accurate data on the number and characteristics of homeless individuals and families Provides information for policy and planning decisions at local, state, and federal levels Creates opportunities to connect homeless individuals and families with local resources

6 Benefits of Accurate Data  Communities need accurate data to: Make funding recommendations to elected officials Raise public awareness of homelessness in their communities Determine size and scope of homelessness in their community Plan for their region

7 Benefits of Accurate Data  HUD needs accurate data to: Understand the extent and nature of homelessness throughout the country Report to Congress on performance of programs Make funding decisions Justify funding requests to Congress

8 Methods for Counting Unsheltered  Simple Street Count through Observation  Street Count with Interview  Service-based Count

9 Simple Street Count through Observation  Easy to understand and results are easy to summarize  However, simple street counts do not provide comprehensive, in-depth information  Observation should only be used if interview is not possible or unsafe

10 Street Count through Face-to-face Interview  More advanced method than observation  Interviews give organizers more information about unsheltered homeless people  Ensures better data – avoids duplication and helps to differentiate people who are chronically homeless and those who are not

11 Service Based Count  Another method for counting is using service programs who do not provide overnight beds that may connect with homeless populations not readily accessed in public places  Examples include: school district homeless liaisons drop-in centers street outreach teams soup kitchens warming shelters

12 When Volunteers are Needed  The time period for data collection: Wednesday January 28,2015- evening/sunset o “Where will you sleep tonight?” All surveys by sunrise/mid-morning January 29,2015 o “Where did you sleep last night?”

13 When to Count The date of the count

14 Methods for Counting Unsheltered  Simple Street Count through Observation  Street Count with Interview  Service-based Count

15 Simple Street Count through Observation  Easy to understand and results are easy to summarize  However, simple street counts do not provide comprehensive, in-depth information  Observation should only be used if interview is not possible or unsafe

16 Street Count through face-to-face Interview  More advanced method than observation  Interviews give organizers more information about unsheltered homeless people  Ensures better data – avoids duplication and helps to differentiate people who are chronically homeless and those who are not

17 Volunteer Responsibilities  Responsibilities will vary with different County Leaders  Prepare for the count by: Reviewing all forms located here:  Verify your coverage zone Preparing your “tool kit” Collaborating with county leaders

18 Volunteer Responsibilities  Perform the count by:  Assisting the County Leader with delivering surveys to complete service based counts to programs who provide supportive services  Completing surveys with homeless individuals and families  Making sure all completed survey forms are received by the County Leader in a timely manner

19 Who to Count  Unsheltered Homeless Definition “Individuals and families with a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings, including a car, park, abandoned building, bus or train station, airport, or camping ground” https://www.hudexchange.info/hdx/guides/pit-hic/

20 Other Types of Housing Situations  Doubled-Up Populations Although persons temporarily staying with family and friends are not reported on the Federal Count, information regarding this population is used in the Annual Report and other sources  Hotel/Motel If the location is being paid for by someone other than the individual, notify your County Lead of these places, as they should be counted on the Sheltered Count

21 Survey Form Instructions  Detailed Survey Instructions can be found at:

22 Reminders for Counting  Please stay within your comfort level  We would like for each survey to be completed as fully as possible, but understand that we cannot ask volunteers to put themselves or others in danger or an uncomfortable setting  Respect the privacy and wishes of those being surveyed Remind them that this survey is voluntary and will not result in denial of service Thank everyone for their time  Explain why we are completing the survey forms Introduce yourself and explain why we are collecting this information  Be sure to explain that the information collected is confidential  Remember, If you are out at camps, these are peoples’ homes

23 Safety Considerations  Always go out in teams, never go out alone  Do not push anyone to complete the survey  Use caution when approaching camps  Do not physically go into a structure/tent or abandoned building  Announce yourself, and explain why you are out  Listen to what your body is telling you: If the situation doesn’t feel right, don’t do it

24 What You Will Need Flashlight Cell phone List of phone numbers  County Leader  MHDC staff  Other volunteers Clipboard Pens Survey forms Survey Instructions Detail of what areas you will be counting Comfortable shoes Bottled water and snacks Donations and local resource sheet to hand out

25 Questions/Reminders  Be sure you sign a Volunteer Release Form and return it to your County Leader prior to volunteering  Please get in touch with your County Leader if you have any questions  If you need further assistance contact Alyssa Murphy at MHDC. Telephone:


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