North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness

Conducting a Point-in-Time Count

Conducting a Point-in-Time Count is important to all communities. The count is a tally of who is homeless on a given night and provides a snapshot of who experiences homeless throughout the year. 
The Point-in-Time Count is a one-day, statistically reliable, unduplicated count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless individuals and families in the country. 
It is required that communities applying for HUD Continuum of Care funding to serve homeless people do a 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 during the count. 

What time is the count?

The 2014 Point-in-Time Count was held the night of Wednesday, January 29.
It's best to set a 24-hour period of time for a count. The 2014 count began at 6pm on January 29th and ended at 6pm on January 30th. On the night of the 29th, emergency shelters and transitional housing programs counted the persons who are residing in their programs. Permanent supportive housing programs and rapid re-housing programs 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.
You might do your street count the evening or night of the count, or early on the morning of the next day. 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 count during the day of the 30th, you'll be asking "Where did you stay last night (the 29th)?"  If they 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
2014 Point in Time Count Reporting Forms
2014 NCCEH PIT Count Training Presentation for the Balance of State CoC
2014 NCCEH PIT Count Training Presentation for All Other CoCs
Tuesdays @ 2 Point-in-Time Count 101 presentation (Abt Associates, Nov. 27, 2012)
HUD Resources
2014 HUD Housing Inventory Chart and PIT Count Data Collection Guidance (UPDATED 1.21.14)
2014 HUD Sample Survey Tools
2014 HUD Mobile PIT App demo site (app can be downloaded through Google Play or Apple App Store) and webinar
HUD's Guide to Counting Sheltered Homeless People (revised Jan. 2012)
HUD's Guide to Counting Unsheltered Homeless People (revised Jan. 2008)
2013 HUD Supplemental Guidance on Counting Homeless Youth
National Alliance to End Homelessness Resources
NAEH Resources on Conducting Targeted PIT Counts of Homeless Youth
Category: practice | Sub Category: point-in-time counts
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