PORTSMOUTH — The Point-In Time Count (PITC), an annual sheltered and biennial unsheltered count of the homeless population will be held throughout Scioto County beginning at 11:59 p.m. until 12:01 p.m. on Jan. 26.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires that communities receiving Continuum of Care Homeless Assistance Grant funding to complete an annual sheltered and biennial unsheltered PITC.
The Scioto County Homeless Housing Continuum (SCHHC) is preparing to actively participate in the annual PITC with a training session scheduled to prepare volunteers on Tuesday, Jan. 19, at 12 p.m. at The Counseling Center’s Second Chance Center located at 526 Sixth Street in Portsmouth.
SCHHC is composed of staff from local agencies that provide housing, such as The Counseling Center, Inc., Operation Safety Homeless Shelter, Sojourner House and Hale House.
Maureen Cadogan, executive director of Operation Safety Net Homeless Shelter, and member of SCHHC, said that all organizations that help to house the homeless must participate in the PITC.
“The Salvation Army has been providing a warming shelter, and have been taking in people that are out on the streets, and so we would need their count as well,” Cadogan said. “The goal is to do all of the unsheltered people that are out in the streets, so it is much more difficult, because we have to locate those people that do not want to be found to include them in the count. The sheltered count is easier because they are in a facility.”
The PITC is conducted on what is considered to be the coldest day of the year, members of the SCHHC and volunteers throughout the community will come together to seek out the homeless in Scioto County.
Thomas H. Leach, Field Office Director of HUD in Columbus, said empowers HUD and their constituents to serve communities more effectively.
“The annual requirement for the Point In Time Count has a number of purposes besides being a requirement,” Leach said. “It helps HUD and our local partners to better understand the demographics of the people we serve. We look for trends, and we look for ways to improve, not only our national policies on ending chronic homelessness, but also for our systems in local communities to make us all more effective.”
PITC are done in communities which receive HUD funding.
“This is not done in every community in the U.S., it is done in every major community and smaller communities that receive funding from HUD,” Leach said.
During the times in which the PITC’s transpire, stations are set up which are designed to meet a host of needs, according to Leach. The homeless population may receive free on site counseling and referrals, haircuts, boots, blankets, hygiene related products, and a variety of other free services.
For more information regarding the HUD PITC annual homeless count visit: www.hud.gov
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.