2023 Point-In-Time Count
Erin Nixon, LCSW
Sr. Social Services Manager-Continuum of Care
Mecklenburg County Community Support Services
The Point-in-Time Count will take place on Wednesday, January 25, 2023. This is the one night each year when our community comes together to survey each person experiencing sheltered or unsheltered homelessness throughout Mecklenburg County. It is also the time when we capture temporary and permanent housing capacity across the housing continuum. The Point-in-Time Count and Housing Inventory Count are activities required of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Continuum of Care (CoC) to receive federal homelessness funding assistance from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). Charlotte-Mecklenburg also goes above and beyond the minimum requirements to collect additional information to inform local decision-making. Mecklenburg County Community Support Services leads the Point-in-Time Count for the Continuum of Care. 2023 marks a return to utilizing volunteers to conduct the unsheltered count and we need your help to ensure a successful event. This blog post provides information on how agencies and individuals can get involved.
The Point-in-Time Count is more than a funding requirement; it serves as an important reminder that, behind every data point, is a person who counts. In 2018, Charlotte-Mecklenburg branded our Point-in-Time Count as Everybody Counts Charlotte to call attention to both: we must ensure that everyone is counted, because each individual matters. By enumerating the problem of homelessness, the Point-in-Time Count activities is a call for action.
The lack of affordable housing contributes to both housing instability and homelessness. In the Charlotte area MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area), there is a 45,130-unit gap for households at or below 30% of Area Median Income. Housing that is affordable is the primary solution to reducing housing instability and ending homelessness.
WE NEED YOUR HELP
100+ volunteers are needed to help survey individuals experiencing unsheltered homelessness throughout the day on Thursday, January 26, 2023. Please sign up here to volunteer. Donations are needed to deliver to those that complete the survey. Please purchase donations through this Amazon Wish List to be used specifically for the PIT.
Regular updates will also be shared through the Building Bridges blog; please pass along any or all of this material to others who may be interested in engaging with this important work.
There are three planning meetings scheduled leading up to the PIT:
- December 22 (2pm-4pm) via Zoom,
- January 5 (2pm-4pm) via Zoom and in person at 3205 Freedom Drive, Entrance D, Suite 2000
- January 19 (2pm-4pm) via Zoom and in person at 3205 Freedom Drive, Entrance D, Suite 2000
The meetings will cover logistics and outstanding issues.
These planning meetings are open to anyone in the community. It is important that there is the broadest possible representation from all stakeholders. Stakeholders encompass any organizations and individuals who are impacted by the Point-in-Time Count and Housing Inventory Count: services such as street outreach, emergency shelter, transitional housing, permanent housing providers; population-specific efforts such as domestic violence, youth, veterans, chronic homelessness and families; and location- and partner-specific entities, such as healthcare systems, schools, and the justice system.
If you are interested in attending, or learning more, please email PIT@mecknc.gov.
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
The Point-in-Time Count can and must be more than just a required census activity for funding assistance. It offers communities the opportunity to see homelessness in a different way – as a face, a name, and a story. Volunteers annually remark that it is impossible to forget the experience of that intimate conversation with a complete stranger, asking deeply personal questions in the midst of a traumatic situation. It changes you. And, hopefully, positively impacts the lives of the individuals and families dealing with homelessness through driving needed changes in the community. Additionally, HUD utilizes data from the PIT to determine the amount of funding CoC’s need to fund solutions to homelessness.
The Point-in-Time Count is important work. It grounds us in the “why” behind what we do. This “why” compels us to sustain the call for solutions until the problem is solved.
The community’s shared responsibility is to take the Point-in-Time Count experience and do something with it. Please consider signing up to participate in some way.
Because Everybody Counts, Housing Counts.