What is a “Street Count?”
How many people are currently homeless 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 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 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 2021?
Volunteers will canvass the community and conduct an observation only survey of unsheltered individuals during the overnight hours from Wednesday, January 27th into early morning Thursday, January 28th. 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 24-hour store. 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.
2021 Street Count Flyer (PDF)
How Can I Sign Up to Volunteer?
As a result of the current COVID pandemic, volunteering for the 2021 Unsheltered Count will look different than in past years. Volunteer recommendations include immediate family groups or those healthy individuals who reside together or individuals traveling as teams but in separate vehicles. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org 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.