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Jackson County CoC Conducts Annual Homeless Count
January 27 - January 31
Every year in January, the Jackson County Continuum of Care conducts the Point in Time Count (PIT). This count attempts to collect information on people who are residing in emergency shelters or transitional housing programs as well as those who are living in vehicles, tents or other places not meant for human habitation. The purpose of the count is to provide a snapshot of homelessness in Jackson County, connect those experiencing homelessness to area resources and support services, and to identify and rectify barriers to housing and services.
The official night of this year’s count for Jackson County is Monday, January 27. Teams of volunteers will survey individuals on the street, in camps and in their vehicles. Surveys will also be completed at various sites, such as social service agencies, community meals and street outreach events from January 27 through January 31.
Staff from homeless assistance agencies, county and city employees, and other community volunteers conduct a street count of the unsheltered population and collect data on the homeless population living in emergency shelters and transitional housing. Along with the total number of sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons, information is gathered on a wide range of characteristics such as the age, gender, race, ethnicity, veteran status and disability status of those experiencing homelessness.
“While one of the purposes of the count is to bring funding for local housing programs into our community from Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the main purpose is to gather data on people in Jackson County who are experiencing homelessness so that we can better serve them,” says Continuum of Care Manager Constance Wilkerson. “We add questions to the survey beyond those required by HUD so that we can more accurately depict the need for safe, affordable and accessible housing in our community and address ways to support the specific needs of those experiencing homelessness.”
The Continuum of Care is currently seeking volunteers to help with the PIT count. People wishing to volunteer should call 541-414-0305.