On July 28 volunteers from Pillars participated in the Point-in-Time (PIT) count. The PIT count is a count of sheltered and unsheltered people experiencing homelessness on a single night. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires organizations that have a commitment to ending homelessness, also known as Continuums of Care, to conduct an annual PIT count. These are organized and carried out locally. Two times a year in January and July the Fox Cities Housing Coalition coordinates a PIT count within the Fox Cities. During the count, a staff member from the coalition leads volunteers throughout the community identifying persons residing on the streets, in campgrounds, under bridges, and other places that are not meant for human habitation.
Last night a total of 36 people were identified in areas not meant for human habitation. This is an increase from last July where 23 people were identified. The majority of the time they are sleeping outside in parks, vehicles, and parking ramps in all kinds of weather. Such as the severe storm that limited the areas of the count and number of participants. Pillars’ primary goal within these counts is to connect with those staying outside to ensure they are aware of the services available to them.
These counts provide organizations like Pillars with more information and opportunity for government grants to better meet the needs of those unsheltered within the community. Point-in-time counts also spark the process of transitioning these individuals into shelter and hopefully permanent housing.