Washtenaw County CoC Seeks Volunteers For Annual Point-In-Time Homeless Count
50+ volunteers sought for PIT Count
The Washtenaw County Continuum of Care (CoC) seeks volunteers for the 2017 Homeless Point-in-Time (PIT) Count on Thursday, January 26 from 4am-8am.
As part of an annual HUD-mandated national homeless PIT count; the count provides a snapshot of sheltered and unsheltered individuals experiencing homelessness throughout Washtenaw County.
With the recent commitment to extend its participation in “Built for Zero” – an initiative of 70 communities nationwide working to end chronic and veteran homelessness – the count helps Washtenaw County track its progress towards ending homelessness.
“Because of our system-wide efforts, we saw a 49% decrease in the number of people who were unsheltered in Washtenaw County between the 2015 and 2016 PIT counts,” said Amanda Carlisle, Executive Director of the Washtenaw Housing Alliance. “We hope to see similar progress with our 2017 count.”
Critical to a successful PIT count are volunteers. For 2017, the county seeks 50-60 PIT count volunteers.
Volunteers will be required to attend a webinar training held during the week of January 16 in preparation for their role and to understand the issue of homelessness. Volunteer assignments will be given after the webinar training; with less experienced volunteers partnered with more experienced volunteers. Previous count volunteers or anyone having worked with homeless individuals are strongly encouraged to volunteer.
Volunteers are advised to wear appropriate cold weather clothing; and should be comfortable walking long distances and being in cold weather. As well, volunteers will be asked if they are willing to drive a volunteer team.
“When volunteers and staff head out to conduct the count in a few weeks, they will be collecting information to help us more effectively respond to the needs of individuals experiencing homelessness in our community,” said Andrea Plevek, Director, Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development. “Over the past two years, our community has produced incredible housing outcomes for veterans and people experiencing chronic homelessness. The upcoming PIT count is a tool that supports our efforts to make homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring in Washtenaw County.”
Anyone interested in volunteering for the 2017 PIT count can sign up here.
PIT COUNT COMMUNITY DEBRIEF
A “Community Debrief” will take place 9 a.m. on Tues., Feb. 28 at Washtenaw Community College in the Morris Lawrence Building, 4800 East Huron River Drive, Ann Arbor. The event will include initial results of the PIT count, next-step discussions and ways to help people experiencing homelessness in our community. Volunteers and representatives from partner agencies will be in attendance. The event is free and open to the public.
DONATE TO END HOMELESSNESS
Washtenaw Housing Alliance (WHA) is a coalition of community partners dedicated to ending homelessness in Washtenaw County.
As part of PIT count efforts, WHA is accepting monetary donations to purchase cold-weather accessories (hats, gloves, socks and hand warmers), backpacks with lunches, hygiene products, and coffee gift cards for individuals experiencing homelessness.
Washtenaw County Continuum of Care (CoC) coordinates community-based policies, strategies, and activities to end homelessness. To learn more about the CoC and find additional ways to participate, click here.