Baltimore's Continuum of Care Seeks Volunteers to Complete Two-Day HUD-Mandated Count of the City's Unsheltered Population
Monday Dec 19th, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BALTIMORE, MD. (Monday, December 19, 2022) - Today, the Mayor's Office of Homeless Services (MOHS) - in conjunction with Baltimore's Continuum of Care (CoC) - announced that Baltimore City will conduct its Point-In-Time (PIT) count of people experiencing homelessness on Sunday, January 22 and Monday, January 23, 2023. The PIT count seeks to count and survey all Baltimoreans sleeping and sheltering in places not meant for human habitation on a given night.
The PIT count is important because it helps the City identify and connect individuals, families, and youth experiencing homelessness to much-needed housing and support services. Also, the results from the count inform policy and provide critical data that helps Baltimore City access vital Federal and State homeless services resources.
"While there has been a continuous decline over the past four years in the number of people counted during the PIT count, until all of our neighbors are housed, this effort is central to our accounting of people experiencing homelessness and our endeavors to connect these individuals with available resources," said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. "In line with our commitments to ensuring healthy communities, data like this drives the critically important work of making homelessness in Baltimore rare, brief, and non-recurring forward."
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires communities that receive Federal funding for homelessness to conduct a PIT count at least biennially during the last ten days of January. This is the first year since the start of the pandemic that Baltimore's PIT count returns to a two-day count in January; the 2021 count was cancelled and the 2022 count was deferred to February and only held on one night in accordance with guidance from the Center for Disease Control.
"Data, along with community engagement, have informed our strategic plans. Data from the 2023 count is a snapshot of homelessness in our community and a tool to increase awareness, which is all vital to the ongoing transformation of our homelessness response system," said Irene Agustin, Director of MOHS.
The CoC is asking for volunteers for the 2023 PIT count. Small groups of volunteers, led by an experienced homeless service provider, will canvass Baltimore City streets and outdoor locations to survey individuals experiencing homelessness. If you'd like to volunteer, register at bit.ly/2023BmorePITCount. Registration is open through Thursday, January 12, 2023.
"The Continuum of Care works to make homelessness in Baltimore rare, brief, and non-recurring. One way community members can help is to assist in the annual Point-In-Time census. Accurate data is important in making sure resources are directed where we most need them. Please considering volunteering for this January's count," said Janice Miller, CoC Board Chair.