What is a “Street Count?”
How many people are currently homeless in DuPage County? How many of them are families, youth, or Veterans? The answers to these questions and more can be answered by conducting a Point-in-Time count. A homeless Point-in-Time count is an unduplicated count on a single night of the people in a community who are experiencing homelessness that includes 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 a count of all sheltered people in the last week of January annually. HMIS records are used to enumerate people living in emergency shelters and transitional housing.
In DuPage County, a “Street Count” of the unsheltered population takes place biennially during odd-numbered years.
Point-in-time counts are important 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 assistance system. The first of these counts was conducted in January 2005. Collecting data on homelessness and tracking progress can inform public opinion, increase public awareness, and attract resources that will lead towards progress in preventing and ending homelessness.
How Can I Help?
Come and volunteer to help us count! We will need volunteers over the age of 18 to assist experienced Team Leaders canvass the community and survey individuals during the overnight hours from Wednesday, January 23rd into early morning Thursday, January 24th. During that time over 20 teams will cover 34 DuPage County communities in search of unsheltered persons living in places not meant for human habitation, such as a car, a park, a train station or a Laundromat. Street Count Team Leaders maintain a safety-first approach for all team members, and training is provided prior to the night of the count. Please see the flyer below for additional information:
How Can I Sign Up to Volunteer?
Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and put Street Count Volunteer in the subject line. We will contact you and set you up with training to be a volunteer and actually volunteering on the night of the count. This activity is great for group or community service work! Come and see how your time and support can truly benefit others.