The Community Action Commission of Fayette County (CACFC) is preparing for its annual “Point-in-Time” (PIT) Count to be held on Feb. 22.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires that communities receiving Continuum of Care Homeless Assistance Grant funding to complete a sheltered and unsheltered count of homeless persons in their county, annually. The data collected during this count assists CACFC’s homeless projects locally and across the state by: identifying changes in trends among homeless populations, compliance with reporting requirements from federal and state funders, and justify the need for continued resources to assist the homeless.
HUD defines homeless as: persons who are sleeping in places not meant for human habitation, staying in emergency shelters, enrolled in transitional housing having been homeless prior to transitional housing entry, or in a place not meant for human habitation.
This statewide homeless count is typically held the last week of January, however, increased COVID cases delayed this year’s PIT count until Feb. 22. The count will begin at 8 p.m. and will end no later than 6 a.m. the morning of Feb. 23.
Data will be collected within designated areas assigned through the Counting Us app. The PIT Count will include persons staying at the Brick House emergency shelter, persons enrolled in CACFC housing programs, and persons that are unsheltered (i.e. living on the streets, in their vehicles, in abandoned buildings, etc.)
The 2020 PIT count (conducted on Jan. 21, 2020) revealed there were 89 persons being assisted through the Brick House emergency shelter or housed through CACFC housing programs, with a total of 13 unsheltered persons. There was no PIT count held in 2021 due to the COVID pandemic conditions.
Dreama Brown, CAC Homeless Programs Coordinator, explained, “The information collected during the Point in Time Count directly impacts CACFC’s ability to identify any gaps in services, as well as compete for future funding to continue to assist our homeless community,” Brown said, “This count also provides us an opportunity to offer our homeless a hot meal, some items to help provide a small bit of comfort and potentially connect them to available services.”
Brown also mentioned that a Drop In Center would be available on Wednesday, Feb. 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Fayette Landing located on Rawlings Street in Washington C.H. The Drop In Center will offer food, water and a donation filled backpack to any unsheltered persons in need.
These backpacks donated by the Paint Valley ADAMH board will be filled with a community resource guide that lists available programs offered in the community, along with other donated items such as nonperishable food, personal care items, hygiene products, and blankets. There will be local programs available on site to explain their programs and how to obtain those services.
For more information about this year’s count being held on Tuesday, Feb. 22, or if you are interested in volunteering, or donating, please contact Community Action at 740-335-7282 or [email protected]