What is a Point In Time count?

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires that each Continuum of Care (CoC) perform an annual count of homeless persons who are sheltered in emergency shelter, transitional housing, and safe haven programs on a single night. CoCs must also conduct a count of unsheltered homeless persons. 

Why a Point In Time Count?

Point-in-Time Counts are important to understanding the extent and nature of homelessness in each continua. The number of individuals experiencing homelessness and their characteristics provide insight into the needs of clients as well as looking at trends in homelessness. This kind of information is useful for influencing policy and planning efforts at the local, state, and national levels. In addition, conducting a PIT Count brings public awareness and attention to homelessness. This counts both sheltered and unsheltered homeless folks. For the unsheltered count, volunteers will enter data via an online portal.

Programs included in the Point in Time Count

Programs included in the sheltered PIT Count are Emergency Shelters (including those that provide hotel/motel vouchers and extreme weather shelters), Safe Havens, and Transitional Housing Projects that are dedicated to serving homeless persons. A dedicated project means the project has the primary intent of serving homeless persons, the project verifies homelessness as part of its eligibility determination, and the project's actual clients are primarily homeless.

What is the Housing Inventory Count?

In addition to the PIT Count, HUD requires that each CoC complete a Housing Inventory Count, which provides a snapshot of all of the beds and units available to house the homeless, or individuals who were homeless at program entry, on the night of the PIT count. The HIC includes a count of all of the persons who were occupying those beds and units on the night of the PIT count.

Programs Included in the Housing inventory count

Programs included in the sheltered PIT Count are programs that are dedicated to serving homeless persons, or in the case of permanent housing projects, to persons who were homeless at program entry. All projects that participate in the PIT Count must also be included on the HIC. Additionally, the HIC includes permanent housing projects classified as Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH), Rapid Re-Housing (RRH), or Other Permanent Housing (OPH).

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