What is a Point in Time (PIT) Count?”

How many people are currently experiencing homelessness in DuPage County? How many are families, youth, or Veterans? The answers to these questions and more can be answered by conducting a Point-in-Time count. A Point-in-Time count is an unduplicated count on a single night of the people in a community who are experiencing homelessness that include both sheltered and unsheltered populations.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires that communities receiving federal funds from the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program conduct an annual count of all sheltered people in the last week of January. HMIS records are used to enumerate people living in emergency shelters and transitional housing.

In DuPage County, a Point in Time or “Street Count” of the unsheltered population will also take place in January, 2023.  This activity involves a wide range of community members, including those with former or current lived experience of homelessness.

Point-in-Time counts are valuable because they help communities plan services and programs to appropriately address local needs, measure progress in decreasing homelessness, and identify strengths and gaps in a community’s current homelessness response system. DuPage County conducted its first count in January 2003. Collecting data on homelessness and tracking progress can help to inform public education, increase public awareness, and attract resources that will lead towards progress in preventing and ending homelessness.

What Will Happen in 2023?

This year’s DuPage County Point in Time Count of persons experiencing unsheltered homelessness will begin the evening of Wednesday, January 25th and continue into the overnight hours through early Thursday morning, January 26th. Volunteers will canvass 34 specific DuPage County communities in search of unsheltered individuals living in places not meant for human habitation such as a vehicle, a park, a train station, or a 24-hour operation.  If appropriate to do so, a brief survey will be administered and data collected on individuals encountered. Street Count volunteers maintain a health and safety-first approach for all team members, and virtual training is provided prior to the night of the count.

2023 Street Count Flyer (PDF)

Health and Safety Considerations for the Point-in-Time Count

The CoC is committed to encouraging the health and safety of all volunteers.  Conducting the Point in Time counts requires the coordination and cooperation of many people.  Any risk of virus spread can be minimized by taking precautions.  The following safety guidance strikes a balance between the need to maintain health and safety while collecting sufficient data to make life-saving decisions about serving people experiencing homelessness.  On the night of the count:

  • Volunteers travel in teams of 2 – 3 or more individuals.
  • Volunteer recommendations can include immediate family groups, healthy individuals who reside together, or individuals traveling as teams but in separate vehicles.
  • Volunteers have personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and hand sanitizer available.  The CoC can provide this type of PPE to teams as requested.
  • Volunteers experiencing any type of flu-like symptoms are asked to decline participation in any group activity the night of the count.

How Can I Sign Up to Volunteer?

Please send  an email to [email protected] with “Street Count Volunteer” in the subject line.  We will contact you with further instruction. Come and see how your time and support can truly benefit others.