As the Continuum of Care lead, All Home is responsible for carrying out the Annual Point In Time Count, including both a sheltered and unsheltered count and survey of people experiencing homelessness in King County. While the count’s core purpose is to collect data on the needs of people experiencing homelessness, the count also provides an excellent opportunity to increase awareness of homelessness and to spark action. A successful and accurate PIT Count is an essential component to informing our system response to the need in our community and to ultimately making homelessness rare, brief and one-time.
We are swiftly approaching the 2017 Point in Time (PIT) Count, scheduled for January 27, 2016, and planning is well underway. This summer, All Home released a Request for Proposals for an organization to carry out the count, and articulated the following goals:
- generating valid, accurate data regarding families and individuals experiencing homelessness,
- establishing estimates that accurately reflect the homeless population for the entire geographic area of the Continuum of Care (CoC),
- retaining and improving funding for homeless services and meeting federal data reporting requirements,
- increasing community support and awareness of the scope and scale of homelessness in King County, and
- linking data collection efforts with CoC strategic, program and policy planning.
In October, the All Home Coordinating Board determined that this year’s count would be conducted via a partnership between All Home and two entities: the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness (SKCCH), which has conducted the count for over thirty years, and Applied Survey Research, which has conducted dozens of counts in California over the past two decades. However, SKCCH notified All Home on Monday that it will not participate in count efforts this coming year.
The 2017 count will now be fully conducted by Applied Survey Research, a national non-profit research firm, in collaboration with All Home. In addition to its experience working in California, ASR has experience in Seattle/King County, conducting a needs assessment of unsheltered homeless in Seattle, and a count of homeless youth/young adults as part of a national effort called Voice of Youth Count, both in the past year.
There will be a few key changes to this coming year’s PIT count:
- Count teams will include volunteers as well as PIT Guides. Guides are paid positions ($15/hr) for homeless or formerly homeless individuals with lived experience in or near their count area.
- The unsheltered street count will shift from a “known area” count to a 100% canvas of every census tract in the county
- Improved data collection tools will be introduced for more efficient and simplified tallying and survey data collection
- More comprehensive sample-based survey efforts including both shelter/service sites as well as non-service locations
While SKCCH will not be leading the 2017 PIT Count, All Home commends the tremendous efforts they have led for over a decade of conducting the One Night Count. All Home is committed to conducting the count in strong collaboration with the community and with a dedication to an accurate, safe, and respectful process. In the coming days, we will be forming a Steering Committee to guide the work and ensure a strong and actionable 2017 Point in Time Count. Information and reports from past PIT counts are available on the All Home website and additional information pertaining to the 2017 Point in Time Count will be posted soon. For additional questions about the PIT count, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.