Point-in-Time Count

​​​​​​​​​​​​What is the Point-in-Time Count? 

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires cities that receive federal funding for homeless programs to conduct an annual count of its homeless population. The Point-in-Time (PIT) Count is a one-day (24 hours), statistically reliable, unduplicated count of the sheltered and unsheltered homeless population.

When is the next PIT Count?

​The 2020 PIT Count will be held during the early morning hours of Thursday, Jan. 23.

Why does the count matter?

Information from the PIT Count helps determine how much funding our community will receive for programs and services that help the homeless.  Each year, more than $1.5 million is granted through the Continuum of Care to Virginia Beach agencies that provide housing and supportive services to the homeless.​ It also offers a snapshot of homelessness and housing needs in Virginia Beach so we can better understand the issue and improve how we make homelessness rare, brief, nonrecurring. With successive counts,  we can measure our progress. The results? Since 2012, Virginia Beach has seen a steady decline in the number of homeless persons identified during the PIT Count.

How is the count conducted?​

In Virginia Beach, teams of volunteers and city staff canvass each of the City’s four police precincts and survey people who are without shelter. Information collected includes, but is not limited to: name, age, gender, and length of homelessness. Shelter and transitional housing providers also provide client data for the same day.

​How will this information be used to help homeless families and individuals?

The more we know about our homeless population, the better we can serve their needs. This PIT Count is not only a chance to learn how many people are homeless and where they are located, but also information about how they became homeless and what services they need to help them.​​​

​​Volunteers are Needed for the 2020 Point-in-Time Count

​Volunteers are needed to help count and survey people experiencing homelessness on Thursday, Jan. 23, from 4 to 8 a.m. Volunteers must be 18 years old and attend mandatory training. For more information, below is a list of volunteer roles/responsibilities and frequently asked questions. To volunteer, register below by Jan. 3. 

Point-in-Time (PIT) Count Volunteer Roles/Responsibilities & FAQs

What is the time commitment for volunteers?
All volunteers must attend one two-hour training. Volunteer time on the morning of the count is four hours (4 - 8 a.m.).

Volunteer roles and responsibilities:

  • ​​PIT Surveyor: 
    • Administers a standard survey of people experiencing unsheltered homelessness
    • Assigned to a group of four or more individuals who will be responsible for canvassing a specified area
    • Hands out information on available community resources, hygiene kits and other incentives for individuals who complete the survey
  • Team Lead:
    • PIT Surveyors who have previous experience as case managers or outreach workers and are familiar with the PIT Count
    • Assists and directs volunteers in surveying individuals and manages any concerns that may aruse during the count
    • Commits additional time leading up to the count in order to be familir with their team's survey route
  • ​Parking Lot Team:
    • ​​Group of PIT Surveyors who canvass parking lots in designated areas of the city where persons are reported to be living in cars
    • Teams consist of up to four people and are accompanied by VBPD officers
  • ​Street Canvassing Team:
    • PIT Surveyors and a driver who travel throughout the city, accompanied by VBPD officers, and visit known encampments
    • May involve walking through wooded areas with rough terrain
  • ​​​Driver:
    • Volunteers who offer to use their own vehicles to drive Parking Lot Teams and Street Canvassing Teams to designated areas in the city where individuals experiencing homelessness may be staying
    • Vehicles must accommodate up to four persons and the driver

What should I wear?
​Since the PIT Count will take place outdoors during the winter, it is important to wear warm layers, gloves, hat, scarves and comfortable shoes.

What should I bring?
While supplies for the PIT Count and refreshments at the precinct are provided, volunteers are encouraged to bring their own water bottle and snacks for the road. Flashlights are also provided, but if you have a powerful light you prefer to use, you may do so.

How can I prepare for training?
Be prepared to spend two hours engaged in learning. Download the PIT Survey app prior to training (the link to the app will be sent out to registered volunteers a week before training).

Who can I contact if I have more questions about volunteering for the PIT Count?
Please contact Diane Ho​taling​, volunteer and community engagement coordinator, at (757) 385-1278 or dhotalin@vbgov.com. 

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