The 2019 Point-in-Time Count will take place on Wednesday, January 30, 2019.
The Point-in-Time Count is when our community comes together to count the number of people who are experiencing homelessness on the streets and in temporary shelters throughout Mecklenburg County. The Point-in-Time Count is a required activity and is connected to the federal funding that Charlotte-Mecklenburg receives for the Continuum of Care (CoC). However, our community goes above and beyond to use the Point-in-Time Count as a way to both raise awareness about housing and homelessness and to collect data that can inform local decision-making.
POINT-IN-TIME COUNT KICK-OFF EVENT
We will officially kick-off the 2019 Point-in-Time Count in early January with EverybodyGathers on January 10 at 6pm at the McColl Center (721 N. Tryon Street). The event will include a presentation of the 2018 findings, information about what’s new in 2019 as well as engagement opportunities leading up to the actual count. This is a great opportunity for new volunteers to learn more about why we do this important work each year. Please consider attending and sharing the information with others.
VOLUNTEER TO COMPLETE SURVEYS
There are multiple survey opportunities beginning as early as January 22 and continue through February 1. Surveys will be completed with people experiencing homelessness at emergency shelter, transitional housing and in unsheltered locations. The unsheltered count surveys will be completed during the night of Wednesday, January 30 and throughout the day of Thursday, January 31. All survey shift volunteers must complete the required training. For volunteers who have served during the past two years, only the first hour of the training is required. The training is not required for driver and administrative shifts. To learn more about volunteer opportunities and to sign up, follow this link.
DONATE WINTER ITEMS TO PEOPLE SLEEPING OUTSIDE
In addition to completing surveys, you can support the work of the Point-in-Time Count through donations of winter items including tents, tarps, gloves and bottled water through an AmazonPrime Wishlist. Items ship for free to the Urban Ministry Center and will be distributed during the Unsheltered Count to people sleeping outside.
You can also collect and assemble toiletry kits. This is a great way to participate with your family, friends and colleagues and engage the larger issue of housing and homelessness. Click here to download the list and instructions. You can also access discussion guides for groups with adults and children to use as you prepare the toolkits.
RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS
You can help raise awareness about housing and homelessness before January 30 by accessing our EverybodyCountsCLT calendar, which provides a daily challenge for you related to housing and homelessness in the community; using Point-in-Time Count toolkits to engage your family, colleagues and friends; attending public meetings and lending your voice to speak up for housing in the community; and sharing information via social media. Information to help you connect to these opportunities is provided through this link.
The Point-in-Time Count is critical to understand the need for housing and to inform local funding and policy decision-making in the community. It also provides an opportunity to engage others around the issue of housing and homelessness and reminds us that there are people behind the numbers that we count.
To learn more about how to get involved, visit the Point-in-Time Count website: www.everybodycountsclt.org
To sign up for regular Point-in-Time Count updates, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Courtney Morton coordinates posts on the Building Bridges Blog. Courtney is the Housing & Homelessness Research Coordinator for Mecklenburg County Community Support Services. Courtney’s job is to connect data on housing instability, homelessness and affordable housing with stakeholders in the community so that they can use it to drive policy-making, funding allocation and programmatic change.