(Use the hashtag #pitcount and take pictures of the new friends you meet during this count. People getting to spend a little time with homeless people is probably the best and most important part of this otherwise absurd exercise. I'd LOVE to see your pictures.)
HUD requires that the Homeless Point-in-Time (PIT) count be held during the last ten days of January so that it can account for people who cycle in and out of homelessness, and may be unable to pay for temporary shelter at the end of the month.
But as you will see below... the methodology different cities, counties and states use is all over the map.
Kern County, for example, is Friday, Jan. 24, 2020 from 3:30 a.m-10 a.m. (Who the HELL wants some stranger all up in their grill at 3:30am?)
Rhode Island is Wednesday, January 22, 2020 and at select times and locations between Thursday, January 23 through Saturday the 25th.
But if you want HUD money you'll do this count. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires communities to complete the count in order to receive federal funding for homeless programs.
It's like playing hide and seek for a day. But the ramifications are a matter of life or death.
How do you expect a bunch of volunteers, who haven't developed any relationships with homeless people at all ever, to be able to go out onto the streets, into abandoned houses, into the woods, into vacant buildings and parking garages and find all the homeless people in one day?
We should be reporting numbers all year long. Many cities have 211 services where homeless people can call in. How many calls do they get each year for people who are homeless? How many people are turned away from shelters?
If we really gave a damn about homeless people we'd be doing a MUCH better job of counting them.
How do we know that there are 7100 cheetahs in all of Africa, but Akron Ohio thinks they only have 78 unsheltered homeless people? The answer is simple: people care about cheetahs more than they care about people freezing and dying on the streets of the richest county the world has ever seen.
Even the people running the agencies that "help" homeless people care more about keeping their jobs than actually helping those they've said they were going to care for. That's the only reason they are doing these counts... so they get their millions of dollars from HUD so they get paid this year.
But, it is what it is. And maybe some day these counts will improve.
While I'm not a fan of using this as some definitive guide to count homeless people, I am a BIG fan of meeting some new homeless friends. The best part of this exercise is that people that maybe have never gotten to talk to a single homeless person a day in their lives suddenly gets to sit down with them face to face and learn a little about their story.
If you decide to volunteer to help with the point-in-time count I STRONGLY encourage you to get to know the people your are "counting". Ask them how they became homeless. Ask them about their families. Ask them about their friends. Ask them what they do with their day. Ask them how they are feeling and doing. You know... ask them things you would ask your friend.
That's the great gift of the PIT count... making new friends.
I decided to go through the web and find as many web sites as I could for states and cities and counties that are promoting their point-in-time counts for 2020.
I know I'm missing many. (If you have a point in time count you want to promote just put it in the comments below.) Shoot... I can't even find the date for the point-in-time count for my own city.
Here's what I found and the links for you to learn more about the homeless point-in-time count for your area in 2020:
The 2020 count is starting on Jan. 22 in Port Orford, moving to the North Bend, Coos Bay and Powers areas on Jan. 29, the Coquille, Gold Beach and Brookings areas on Jan. 28, and then Myrtle Point and Bandon on Jan. 30.
Point-in-Time Count & Reports | Mo BoS CoC - Missouri
January 29, 2020
The Point-in-Time Count will take place on Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Homeward - Point In Time Count - Richmond, VA 23235
The dates for the 2020 Winter PIT count activities are Wednesday, January 22 and Thursday, January 23. Volunteer registration is open for PIT activites on January 23rd.
Point-In-Time Homeless Count - Phoenix, Arizona 85003
The 2020 PIT Count will be conducted on January 28, 2020.
Point-in-Time Count - Memphis, TN 38103
The 2020 Point-in-Time (PIT) Count will be held the morning of January 22, 2020.
The 2020 Point in Time (PIT) Count will be on Thursday, Jan. 23.
The 2020 Point-In-Time (PIT) Count is January 23rd.
Early in the morning of January 25th, 2020, hundreds of volunteers will head out across Austin/Travis County to count every person experiencing unsheltered homelessness.
Point In TIme (PIT) - Michigan
24 HOUR POINT IN TIME (PIT) COUNT OF HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES Wednesday JANUARY 29, 2020
Point-in-Time Count 2020 | website - Rhode Island
The 2020 PIT Count will be held on the night of Wednesday, January 22, 2020 and at select times and locations between Thursday, January 23 through Saturday the 25th.
Point in Time Count | KC Homeless - Kern County
Friday, Jan. 24, 2020 from 3:30 a.m-10 a.m
The 2020 Point-in-Time (PIT) Count for the Western Virginia CoC will be conducted on Wednesday, January 22 with a back-up date of January 23 in the event of inclement weather.
WeAllCount - San Diego
The San Diego upcoming Point-in-Time Count, known as We All Count will begin at 4am on the morning of January 23, 2020 for the majority of San Diego Countys deployment sites.
Wed, January 22, 2020 4:30 AM 8:30 PM EST
The 2020 Point-In-Time (PIT) count is set for Wednesday, January 22, 2020.
The date for the 2020 Winter Point-in-Time count has been set for the night of Wednesday, January 22nd.
will take place on January 23, 2020.
Count Us In 2020, King Countys Annual Point in Time Count (PIT), will be happening Friday, January 24, 2020!
Night of January 22, 2020
I can't find the date and time.
2020 Homeless Point-in-Time (PIT) Count - Jan 23, 2020 - Polk County.
Date: January 23, 2020 Time: 5:00 AM - 5:00 PM EST
Everyone Counts - Metro Denver
The 2020 Point in Time Count | Project HOME - Philadelphia
The PIT count will take place this year on January 22nd, 2020 from 10:30 PM until 4:00 AM the next morning.
Thursday, January 23, 2020 at 4 AM 11 AM UTC-10
January 29 and 30
Point-in-Time Count | EveryOneHome.org - San Leandro, CA 94577
I can't find the date
Counts will take place between March 1 and April 30, 2020.
I can't find their date this year
Homeless Count | Coalition - Houston
Sheltered Count: Monday, January 27, 2020
Unsheltered Count: January 28, 29 & 30, 2020
January 21, 2020: San Gabriel and San Fernando Valleys
January 22, 2020: West Los Angeles, Southeast Los Angeles, & the South Bay
January 23, 2020: Antelope Valley, Metro Los Angeles, and South Los Angeles
They have a count down clock on this page but I can't find any other information
Point in Time Count - Reports â€” A Home for Everyone - Portland and Multnomah County
They seem to do it every other year. I don't think they are doing it this year.
Volunteers are needed Wednesday, January 29, 2020
The 2020 K-Count for the Kentucky Balance of State (BoS) will be held on Wednesday, January 29, 2020
This is a job posting for the position of PIT organizer. It's $28. This is Canada.
In March 2020, Kelowna will participate in the Kelowna 2020 Coordinated Point-in-Time Count supported by the Government of Canada's Reaching Home Strategy.
More than 700 volunteers are needed for the 2020 count, which is scheduled for Jan. 29 through Jan 31.
They talk about trainings on this page. But I don't see the date they are doing their count.
ANNUAL POINT IN TIME COUNT, Jan 22 & 23, 2020
Date: January 24, 2020
HMIS Annoucements - Main
The Night of the Count will be Tuesday, January 28, 2020.
Saturday, January 25th, 2020 from 2:00am to 9:00am (CT)
Name: 2020 Kern County Point-In-Time Homeless Count Date:
January 24, 2020
Time: 3:00 AM - 10:00 AM PST
Counties in the Dallas-Fort Worth area have opened volunteer signups for the 2020 Point-in-Time count Jan. 23.
NEWCAP Inc.Point-in-Time Count - Florence, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto, and Shawano Counties
ON JANUARY 22, 2020
Volunteers Needed for the 2020 Homeless Count | Edhat - Santa Barbara County, the Santa Maria/Santa Barbara County Continuum of Care (CoC), and the Northern Santa Barbara County United Way
5:30-8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, January 29, 2020
They got this new website this year. But it doesn't list anything about this year's point in time count. (The United Way links to this old site: www.hmissummit.net/coc/Default.htm. It talks about the Point in Time Count... in 2016.
This is my home county and I literally can't find the date of our PIT count anywhere. If someone has a link please send it to me.
The featured image is of former councilman Zack Milkovich spending time talking with our homeless friend Kenny Boldt.