SC-CHAP will be conducting a its annual Winter Point in Time count on Wednesday, January 25th from 11 am to 2 pm and 7 pm to 10 pm in Saginaw County. Volunteers are needed for the unsheltered count. Contact the CoC Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 989-776-0570 for more information.
Every year the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires communities receiving federal funds from the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program to conduct sheltered counts of people living in emergency shelter or transitional housing. Every other year, HUD requires communities to conduct unsheltered counts of people living in a place unfit for human habitation (such as in an abandoned building or in a park). The Saginaw CoC conducts both counts annually.
During these point-in-time counts, communities are required to identify whether a person is an individual, a member of a family unit, an unaccompanied youth under the age of 18 or a veterans. In addition, communities must identify if a person is chronically homeless, indicating long-time or repeated homelessness and the presence of a disability.
HUD requires that these counts occur during the last week of January. Point-in-time counts are important because they establish the dimensions of the problem of homelessness and help policymakers and program administrators track progress toward the goal of ending homelessness. Collecting data on homelessness and tracking progress can inform public opinion, increase public awareness, and attract resources that will lead to the eradication of the problem.
HUD uses information from the local point-in-time counts, among other data sources, in the congressionally-mandated Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress (AHAR). This report is meant to inform Congress about the number of people experiencing homelessness in the U.S. and the effectiveness of HUD’s programs and policies in decreasing those numbers.
On the local level, point-in-time counts help communities plan services and programs to appropriately address local needs, measure progress in decreasing homelessness, and identify strengths and gaps in a community’s current homelessness assistance system.