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LANE COUNTY HUMAN SERVICES TO PERFORM ANNUAL HOMELESS POINT IN TIME COUNT

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News Release from Lane Co. Government

Posted on FlashAlert: January 31st, 2024 7:56 AM

Every January, Lane County Human Services Division (LCHSD), along with community partners, conducts the annual Point-In-Time (PIT) Count. The PIT count is a one-night count of persons experiencing homelessness in our community and is required bi-annually by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The annual PIT Count seeks to identify the number of people sleeping in emergency shelters and transitional housing programs, utilizing food pantries, day and night access centers, and those sleeping outdoors in cars, tents, parks, or other outdoor spaces not intended to be housing. This year’s count will take place between Thursday, February 1 at 7am and Friday, February 2 at 7pm. The count will reflect who is experiencing homelessness the night of Wednesday, January 31, 2024.

“The Point in Time Count is most valuable as a tool to identify trends year after year, versus an accounting of the exact number of people who are unhoused,” said Lane County Human Services Division Manager, Kate Budd. “The PIT count is another example of using the best available data to gain a stronger understanding of homelessness in Lane County.”

The PIT count is meant to serve as a snapshot of homelessness in Lane County in order to provide a sense of the general scope and state of homelessness. While the data collected are important for benchmarking and funding purposes, it’s important to recognize the number of individuals experiencing homelessness is likely greater than what is able to be captured in this snapshot.

This year, street outreach teams will conduct a physical count of individuals who are unsheltered across the County, including Eugene, Springfield, Veneta, Florence, Junction City, Cottage Grove, Oakridge and Coburg. That data will be cross-referenced with the Homeless by Name List (HBNL), a database of individuals who are experiencing homelessness and have interacted with service agencies, in order to provide a more complete picture.

Additionally, Lane County is a Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP) Community, selected by HUD to test best and promising practices and implement a coordinated community plan to end youth homelessness. As part of this effort, LCHSD will be taking extra steps to ensure youth who are experiencing homelessness are captured in the 2024 PIT Count. A broader definition of homelessness will be used to count youth on the local level, which includes those who are unstably housed or couch surfing. These efforts include pop-up magnet events on the day of the count to engage with youth to complete a survey. Just as with the broader count, these surveys will be cross-referenced with our HBNL and, if the young person is not already identified, they will be included in the count. Youth surveyors will be available through the Eugene Library, Youth ERA, Lane Community College, and youth-specific outreach in the metro and rural areas on Thursday, February 1, 2024. This year’s youth PIT Count strategies have been vetted and approved through the YHDP Youth Executive committee.

The full report from the PIT Count will be made available in the Spring, following final submission to HUD.

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