Surveying the homeless annually on the fourth Thursday of January provides a snapshot of this population throughout the country.
The Point in Time Count will be Jan. 23 in Bell, Coryell, Lampasas and Hamilton counties.
Volunteers are needed to participate in the Central Texas Homeless Coalition’s count.
“We will probably need about 200 volunteers to cover the area where the surveys will be taken,” said Ebony Jackson, president of the Central Texas Homeless Coalition.
Volunteers are asked to register prior to the count.
Registration will be 9 a.m. to noon Friday in Room D8 at the Central Texas Council of Governments, 2180 N. Main St.
“It is our goal to put together teams to do the survey in each of the counties the coalition serves,” Jackson said.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires an annual count of homeless persons who are sheltered in emergency shelter and transitional housing on a single night. Homeless coalitions also must conduct a count of unsheltered homeless persons every other year.
PIT data can provide insight into a community’s homeless population and service gaps. The counts directly affect the amount of federal funding Texas will receive to serve the homeless.
The surveys are sent to Austin, where members of the Texas Homeless Network look at the data and come up with a representative number of homeless in the state and in communities.
On Friday, the group will be putting together bags filled with toiletries, snacks and other useful items for those who take the survey.
“Undershirts, socks are always welcome,” Jackson said.
Agencies wanting to include brochures in the bags may drop that material off on Friday, she said. The brochures probably have more information about the agency, including contact information, than anyone else, Jackson said.
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