Housing Forward is set to lead the annual Point-in-Time count of neighbors experiencing homelessness in Dallas and Collin Counties on January 25th. The Point-in-Time count takes place nationwide during the same week each year, as mandated by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and provides a snapshot of homelessness in Dallas and Collin counties on a single night in January of each year. It provides the only count of both unsheltered and sheltered homelessness.
“The Point-in-Time count helps us assess the impact of the rehousing system, as well as structural inequities that have consistently led to striking racial disparities in who is becoming homeless in Dallas and Collin Counties each year”, said Interim President and CEO of Housing Forward Sarah Kahn.
Why does the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) require the Point-in-Time count?
“HUD relies on data collected by Dallas County, Collin County, and communities across the country to track progress towards reducing homelessness. When you join your friends or church community during these cold January nights to count your neighbors experiencing homelessness, the result is that HUD can award dollars and other assistance to communities that demonstrate the both the need and the willingness to put a stop to homelessness,” said U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Regional Administrator Candace Valenzuela.
The Point-in-Time count is a valuable tool and the only tool that measures both unsheltered and sheltered neighbors. “Data—like the trends revealed by the Point-in-Time count—drives our strategy, helping us track whether homelessness is increasing or decreasing, and promoting an ongoing focus on racial equity and scaled investments in rehousing assistance. Despite common critiques, the Point-in-Time is not intended to count every single person experiencing homelessness, which is unrealistic given the often-hidden nature of homelessness. Rather, it is used for trending and demographic information,” said Housing Forward Board Chair Peter Brodsky.
“The PIT count is essential for communities to gauge any shifts in the unsheltered population. We have no other tool for doing this. When communities conduct the count consistently and rigorously, it can document successes in reducing homelessness so we can replicate what is working, and signal a need to do more”, said Professor and Chair in Social Policy at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice Dennis Culhane, PhD.
The results from the Point-in-Time count will be announced at the annual State of Homelessness Address taking place on April 18th, 2024.