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2013 Point-In-Time Count: Make Everyone Count

January 20, 2013 Print ShareThis


This public service announcement by Cyndi Lauper is a joint effort by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the True Colors Fund's Forty to None Project.

Learn More about Your Local Continuum of Care Point-in-Time Count

During the last 10 days of January, more than 400 Continuums of Care (CoC), covering over 3,000 cities and counties across the country will organize tens of thousands of volunteers in a national effort to measure the scale of homelessness in the United States. These counts reveal the number of homeless persons in our shelters and on our streets at a single point-in-time. These one-night snapshot counts also provide local planners with data they need to understand the number and characteristics of persons who are homeless so they, in turn, can develop a thoughtful response.  This effort allows communities to find out not just how many people are homeless, but who is homeless and more importantly, why they are homeless. Being able to answer these important questions is critical if we ever hope to end homelessness. 

As we get closer to the 2013 Point-in-Time (PIT) count, people are encouraged to reach out to their local Continuum of Care (CoC) to learn more about the PIT count that will be taking place in their area to learn how they can help as well as learn about other possible volunteer opportunities in the CoC.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the Point-in-Time (PIT) count? 

  • The Point-in-Time (PIT) count is a count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons on a single night in January. Each count is planned, coordinated, and carried out locally. 

Why do we conduct the Point-in-Time (PIT) count?

  • The Point-in-Time (PIT) count provides the homeless assistance community with data needed to understand the number and characteristics of persons who are homeless. The counts are an important metric for measuring  Federal and local progress in preventing and ending homelessness. HUD is required by statute to conduct PIT counts and has affirmed in regulation that it will require a sheltered and unsheltered count at least every other year as a condition of funding.

Who participates in the Point-in-Time (PIT) count?

  • HUD requires all of Continuums of Care (CoCs) to conduct a Point-in-Time (PIT) count and report the data as part of their annual competitive CoC application.
    • HUD develops guidance annually about minimum standards for the count.
    • Other Federal partners (e.g., Veterans Affairs) promote the counts and help CoCs at the local level.
    • CoCs plan, implement, and evaluate their counts at the local level.
    • CoCs engage homeless persons in the count.

How often is the Point-in-Time (PIT) count conducted?

  • HUD requires Continuums of Care (CoCs) to conduct a sheltered count annually.
  • HUD requires CoCs to conduct an unsheltered count every other year (odd-numbered years). Sixty-six percent of CoCs voluntarily conduct an unsheltered count. In 2013, CoCs are required to do both.

Get Involved!

  • To find out how to get involved in your local Point-in-Time (PIT) count, you will need to identify the Continuum of Care (CoC) that your community is located in by visiting the CoC Maps page of HUD's Homelessness Resource Exchange.
  • Once you have determined which CoC(s) are in your area, you can find contact information for that CoC through the CoC Contacts page of HUD's Homelessness Resource Exchange. Contact the point-of-contact for the CoC and let them know that you are interested in volunteering with the upcoming point-in-time count. If interested, you may also ask about other volunteer opportunities that are available within the CoC to help the homeless. 

Other Resources

For official HUD guidance and information related to the Point-in-Time Count and the Housing Inventory Count (HIC), please see the 2013 Point-in-Time (PIT) and Housing Inventory Count (HIC) Reporting page.

Learn more about the True Colors Fund's Forty to None Project


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