CLEARFIELD – On Jan. 29, there will be a sheltered and an unsheltered Point-in-Time (PIT) Count conducted across the state of Pennsylvania.
All homeless dedicated Emergency Shelter, Transitional Housing and Permanent Supportive Housing programs are required to participate in the sheltered count.
The unsheltered count is the process of counting all individuals and households that are unsheltered on Jan. 29. This includes persons sleeping on the street, in cars, in the woods, abandoned buildings, etc.
While the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires an annual count of the sheltered homeless and a bi-annual count of the unsheltered homeless during the last 10 days of January, it is typically very cold the night of the count, and volunteers have reported that it is difficult to locate unsheltered individuals.
HUD’s definition of unsheltered homeless is “only when residing in a place not meant for human habitation, such as cars, parks, sidewalks, abandoned buildings or on the street.” This can include individuals and families living in the following locations: abandoned buildings and houses, chicken coops, railroad cars, storage units, lumberyards, streets, vehicles, parks, hunting cabins, tents, campgrounds, barns, truck stops, etc.
Why is Clearfield County doing the Point-in-Time count? To get an accurate picture of homelessness in our community; to collect data for funding applications; for future planning purposes; for community awareness; to increase community and stakeholder involvement; and as a tool for advocacy.
The Local Housing Options Team (LHOT) of Clearfield County, consisting of members from various human services organizations, church groups, schools, etc., coordinates the Point-in-Time Survey that will be occurring on Jan. 39.
The team is once again asking for the assistance of Human Service providers, churches, school districts, local law enforcement, fire departments, code enforcement offices, food pantries, other homeless assistance agencies in Clearfield County, etc. in finding out where families or individuals might be seeking shelter.
On Jan. 29, staff from agencies on the LHOT and volunteers from the communities will be canvassing throughout the county, interviewing homeless individuals to find out more information about their current situation.
If you have more information about where homeless families or individuals may be staying in Clearfield or Jefferson counties, please feel free to contact 1-800-598-3998.