Every day in Pierce County, thousands of people sleep in cars, shelters or on the streets. An estimated 70% of people experiencing homelessness are sleeping without shelter each night due to a lack of affordable housing and emergency shelter space. Each year, the Homeless Point-In-Time Count surveys people experiencing homelessness to learn more about their circumstances.
"The PIT Count is a vital tool we use to help us understand why people experience homelessness and how we can best address their needs. We are thankful for volunteers who are willing to learn more about homelessness in our community by helping us with this important event," said Heather Moss, Pierce County Human Services Director.
Pierce County Human Services is recruiting volunteers to conduct interviews with individuals and families experiencing homelessness during the Homeless Point-In-Time Count on Thursday, Jan. 25, and Friday, Jan. 26. Volunteers must be over 18 years old, have access to a smart phone, and commit to attend an in-person or online training in January.
Volunteers must register online. Upon registration, volunteers will receive an email with further instructions, including how to download the Counting Us mobile app and complete training.
If you are unable to volunteer, you can help by donating new items such as space blankets, hats, socks, gloves, hygiene kits and hand warmers. Donations provide a starting point for the conversation and are given out to anyone experiencing homelessness during the count. Donations can be dropped off through Monday, Jan. 22, at the Pierce County Human Services Soundview Office located at 3602 Pacific Ave., Suite 200, in Tacoma.
During the count, human service professionals and volunteers survey people experiencing homelessness. Communities use the survey data to better understand why people become homeless, plan thoughtful programs that respond to their needs, track trends over time, and identify where people sleep. The personal circumstances that may lead to homelessness are many and can impact people from every community.
This year, the County will utilize a new dynamic mapping system for easy on-the-go tracking and interviewing. The Youth and Young Adult PIT Count will also be conducted at the same time.
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Libby Catalinich, Pierce County Communications Director