Philadelphia's Annual Count of Unsheltered Homeless Adds Survey to Gather Valuable Data - Generocity Philly

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Jan. 6, 2014 1:45 pm

Philadelphia’s Annual Count of Unsheltered Homeless Adds Survey to Gather Valuable Data

At the beginning of every year, Philadelphia takes stock of its homeless population by sending volunteers out into the streets from midnight to 3am to count the number of unsheltered individuals. The count is required by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and coordinated by Project HOME in partnership with the City of […]

At the beginning of every year, Philadelphia takes stock of its homeless population by sending volunteers out into the streets from midnight to 3am to count the number of unsheltered individuals. The count is required by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and coordinated by Project HOME in partnership with the City of Philadelphia.

This year will mark the first time that the annual Point-in-Time Count – now called PhillyCOUNTS – also includes a survey. Volunteers will ask unsheltered individuals questions designed to shed light on their history and current living situation.

Specifically, there will be questions about the individual’s veterans status, history of drug abuse, crime or mental disorder, and involvement with other systems such as foster care.

Laura Weinbaum, vice president of public affairs and strategic initiatives for Project Home, explained that survey is not required but is encouraged by new guidelines established by HUD. The collected data will go to HUD, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the City of Philadelphia and other organizations fighting homelessness.

Project HOME is seeking around 300 volunteers for the count. Just over 100 people have already signed up, according to Weinbaum, though she expects a number of long-time volunteers will sign up at the last minute. Volunteers will also be needed to put up posters to spread the word about the count.

PhillyCOUNTS 2014 will take place Wednesday, January 22.  Volunteers must be at least 18 years old. Sign up here: http://phillycounts2014.org

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