Join the Effort to End Homelessness with the Upcoming Homeless Census

 December 7, 2016pit2017-logo

Connecticut -On January 24th, 2017, the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness (CCEH) seeks volunteers to take part in this year’s national census of homelessness, the Point-in-Time (PIT) count, an important annual exercise to count the total number of homeless on a given night across Connecticut and the country.

Volunteers participating in the Point-in-Time count also have the opportunity to participate in the fight to end homelessness. The count helps to develop the data crucial to assess the success of current programs, gauge the progress we are making nationally in the fight to end homelessness, and determine future allocations of funding.  Connecticut’s 2016 Point-in-Time Count showed substantial progress in our efforts to end homelessness, with overall homelessness in Connecticut down 13% compared to 2007 and chronic homelessness (the long-term homelessness of those with severe disabilities) down by 20% from 2015.

For those experiencing homelessness, the Count offers a chance for them to connect with volunteer surveyors. Volunteers can direct those in urgent need toward the services and supports that that can end their homelessness, including by adding them to the community registries for housing resources.

This year volunteers across our state will be using mobile technology for gathering PIT Data, through an app developed by Simtech Solutions and which volunteers can download for free from Google Play or the App Store. The survey information is submitted throughout the night of the count to a regional command center. “This is our second year using the mobile app, and we know from experience that it improves accuracy and timeliness of the data.  It also relieves volunteers the task of countless hours of data entry, so they can focus on working with the people they encounter.” said Brian Roccapriore, HMIS Director for CCEH which oversees the count.

Volunteering to participate in the PIT allows you to be part of Connecticut’s historic progress built from the community support, great partnerships, and reliable up-to-date data that powers our efforts to end homelessness. Connecticut was the second state to end veteran homelessness as of 2016. Connecticut is one of only four states participating in the national Zero: 2016 campaign to end all chronic homelessness by the end of 2016.

This year the Point-in-Time Count will be accompanied by the 2017 CT Youth Count, a week-long event to count all of the sheltered and unsheltered homeless youth and young adults age 24 and below on the night of the PIT Count. The federal government will use this year’s youth count as the baseline year for collecting data on youth homelessness. Volunteers for the youth count can participate during the dates and times convenient to their schedule and trained to administer youth homelessness surveys in their communities.

The success of the January 24 Point-in-Time Count and 2017 CT Youth Count depends on the participation of volunteers.  Please volunteer your time to show your commitment and build momentum toward ending homelessness. Together, we can bring an end to homelessness in Connecticut.

Learn more at http://cceh.org/pit/ct-pit-2017/. To volunteer, visit http://cceh.org/volunteer-registration-2017/ to register or contact Jackie Janosko at jjanosko@cceh.org. For press related inquiries, please contact Sarah Chess at schess@cceh.org.