Homeless count is tomorrow

Here’s information from Lane County about the annual homeless count:

On Wednesday, Jan. 28, the Human Services Division, Lane County’s anti-poverty program, along with its nonprofit partners, will conduct a one-night count of people who are homeless in Lane County.  The annual Homeless Point in Time Count (PIT) reaches throughout the community to people sleeping on the streets, vehicles, parks, camps, and other places not meant for human habitation. Emergency shelter and transitional housing programs designated for people who are homeless are also counted.

The one-night count takes place across the state of Oregon each January.  It provides a snapshot of the problem of homelessness to help policymakers target resources to the areas of the state experiencing the greatest need.  This valuable data identifies the needs and gaps in services for homeless people in order to inform local planning efforts. The 2015 One Night Homeless Count will include both sheltered and unsheltered.  This count is required by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which provides nearly $3 million in housing and services to single adults, families and youth who are homeless in Lane County.

During last year’s sheltered count, 649 individuals were counted in Lane County.  This number includes homeless community members who were used local emergency shelter and transitional housing programs designated for people who are homeless. Every other year, we include what’s known as the “street count” which includes those counted on the streets, under bridges, in parks, at food pantries, schools, day access centers and churches.  The unsheltered number was 1,102 in our last street count (2013).

This year’s count has the participation of 24 agencies that administer multiple programs; they have contact with people who are homeless, including outreach programs, day access centers, and food pantries, dining sites, medical vans and other places where homeless people use services.  Results from the 2015 count will be available in March 2015, once the individual demographic information from the forms is analyzed and tallied for accuracy locally and at the state level.

This year’s includes new participating agencies with an expanded effort from local veterans groups. Community Supported Shelter Rest Stops, Occupy Medical and LILA (working with people with disabilities) and Eugene Municipal Court are joining this year’s count.