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Jackie Janosko, Research Analyst, CT Coaltiion to End Homelessness
On January 24th, 2017, the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness (CCEH) conducts the Point-in-Time (PIT) count for Connecticut. As part of the national census of homelessness, the PIT Count exercise is an effort to determine the total number of people experiencing homelessness. This is vital to our efforts to assess the success of current programs for ending homelessness, to gauge the progress we are making nationally, and determine future allocations of funding. In 2016, the PIT 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.
The PIT Count is an important resource for us as advocates and service providers, but it is also important as outreach. 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 can end their homelessness, which also includes adding them to the community registries for housing resources.
2017 will also be our second year using a mobile app to improve the accuracy and timeliness of the data. The app, developed by Simtech Solutions, will be a free and easy to use download on the Google Play or App Store. Information can now go directly from the volunteers to the regional command centers as soon as they hit submit!
Volunteering to participate in the PIT Count 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 once again 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. Volunteers for the youth count can participate during the dates and times convenient to their schedule and are trained to administer youth homelessness surveys in their communities.
The success of the January 24 Point-in-Time Count and the 2017 CT Youth Count depends on the participation of volunteers. Please volunteer your time to show your commitment and help build momentum toward ending homelessness. Together, we can bring an end to homelessness in Connecticut.
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