Jan. 22, 2020 — Every year, on the last Wednesday of January, the Lane County Human Services Division conducts the annual one-night Homeless Point in Time (PIT) Count. The PIT Count is a three-part survey which includes a count of the unsheltered and sheltered population of people experiencing homelessness, as well as a Housing Inventory Count, which is a point in time look at Continuum of Care beds and units dedicated to people experiencing homelessness.
The annual PIT Count provides a snapshot of homelessness in Lane County on a single night in January of each year. This year’s count will be held on Jan. 30 and will survey the sleeping location of unhoused individuals on Jan. 29.
The PIT Count uses a survey tool which provides a means for gathering information directly from individuals and families experiencing homelessness, with the opportunity for them to inform of their needs and the causes of homelessness. The count allows Lane County Human Services to look at trends over the years by using consistent methodology.
The PIT results, along with other data and information, help inform Lane County about addressing needs and making progress toward goals to reduce, end, and prevent homelessness.
In Florence, the count will include several new locations in an effort to reach more of the community’s unhoused neighbors. Volunteers are needed to staff the locations as well as engage individuals at various spots around the town. A training will be held at the Siuslaw Public Library, 1460 Ninth St., on Thursday, Jan. 23, at 4:30 p.m. Volunteers must sign up at www.lanecounty.org/homelesscount.
In a recent talk to the Florence Area Coordinating Council, Siuslaw Outreach Services Director Bob Teter indicated that at least 50 percent of unhoused individuals served throughout 2019 were local.
Volunteers have arranged for a free breakfast on the day of the count at the Presbyterian Church of the Siuslaw, 3996 Highway 101, at 8 a.m. along with the regular free lunch provided at the Florence United Methodist Church, 333 Kingwood St., at 11:30 a.m.
People can also be counted between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. at the Siuslaw Public Library, between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the Florence Food Share, and all day at Siuslaw Outreach Services and the Dept. of Health & Human Services in Florence.
In addition, the Cross Roads Assembly of God Church, Safe Shelter for Siuslaw School and the Heart of the Coast Housing Alliance are sponsoring a free bus day on the Rhody Express for ALL local people. This will help unhoused individuals to reach locations to be counted. Rhody Express will also provide single-ride bus passes as a small token of thanks to those participating in the count.
The count is conducted in conformance with federal and state requirements. The Federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (as amended) authorized the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to require the PIT count of all Continuums of Care.
The PIT Count is neither sponsored nor endorsed by the Siuslaw Public Library District.