North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness

Conducting a Point-in-Time Count

Conducting a Point-in-Time Count is important for all communities. The count provides a snapshot of who is homeless on a given night. This information can be used to plan local homeless assistance systems, to tailor programs to meet existing needs, and to raise public awareness of homelessness.
The Point-in-Time Count is a one-day, statistically reliable, unduplicated count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless individuals and families in the country. 
HUD requires that all Continuums of Care conduct a Point-in-Time Count each year during the last ten days of January. Programs that have beds dedicated to serve homeless individuals and families also conduct a bed inventory (the Housing Inventory Count). 

What time is the count?

The 2015 Point-in-Time Count will be held the night of Wednesday, January 28.
Communities should count people where they are on that particular night. On the night of the 28th, emergency shelters and transitional housing programs should count the persons who are residing in their programs. Permanent supportive housing programs and rapid re-housing programs should also count their residents. While these folks are no longer homeless and are not included in the total number of homeless persons, it's important to gather data on how many people we've moved into permanent housing.
Street counts of unsheltered homeless people should be done the night of the 28th. If you are planning on including a services-based count (counting unsheltered homeless persons at service agencies, such as soup kitchens), you would do this during the day after the count. Remember, if you do a services count during the day of the 29th, you'll be asking "Where did you stay last night (the 28th)?"  If the person stayed in a shelter or in transitional housing, you know they have already been counted. 

Resources for conducting a count

In order for communities to conduct a reliable and efficient count, NCCEH, HUD, and other partners release training and guidance. These resources are updated each year prior to the count in January.
NCCEH Resources
2015 Point in Time Count Reporting Forms COMING SOON
2015 NCCEH PIT Count Training Presentation COMING SOON
HUD Resources
2015 HUD Housing Inventory Chart and PIT Count Data Collection Guidance 
2015 HUD Sample Survey Tools
2015 HUD Mobile PIT App Webinar
HUD's PIT Count Methodology Guide (published 9.12.14)
National Alliance to End Homelessness Resources
Webinar: Prepare for the 2015 Count: Unsheltered Count 101
Webinar: Preapre for the 2015 Count: Enumerating Unsheltered Youth
NAEH Resources on Conducting Targeted PIT Counts of Homeless Youth
Category: practice | Sub Category: point-in-time counts
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