It is almost time for the annual Point-in-Time statewide homeless count, and the Utah Office of Homeless Services is in need of volunteers in communities across the state.
With a goal of counting and interviewing every person experiencing homelessness in the state, OHS and volunteers will gather in the early morning hours of Jan. 26-28 to find out where unsheltered people slept on the night of Jan. 25.
OHS Assistant Director Tricia Davis said it is only with the help of volunteers that the office is able to measure the number of people experiencing homelessness in Utah.
“Our goal is to get the most accurate count possible,” she said.
Data gathered during the count will provide policymakers with information needed to set benchmarks in measuring progress toward ending homelessness as well as planning services and programs to approximate local needs.
Unsheltered individuals and families included in the annual count are not only those living on the streets, but also those living in cars, RVs and other places not meant for human habitation, Nelson said.
Teams of volunteers across the state will receive training in advance to teach them how best to approach and interview persons experiencing homelessness and help guide them in recording responses.
Help is needed for the entirety of the survey, from 4-6 a.m. each day. However, OHS is taking volunteers who are able to help for any length of time.
Those interested may visit endutahhomelessness.org/point-in-time-count.
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