Partner Allies Conduct Successful Homelessness Survey Event
Our annual Point in Time (PIT) count brought together Wake County residents who showed their readiness to work collaboratively towards the common goal to end homelessness. Coordinating programs and events like this is just one of the many ways the Partnership serves our area homeless providers and the Wake County Continuum of Care (CoC). “This year, our CoC conducted a large-scale, in-person count for the first time since 2020. It was the result of weeks of coordination and collaboration with our local police department, street outreach teams, and community volunteers,” explained Partnership staff.
Generous community members and organizations donated supplies and filled backpacks to hand out to the homeless during our annual PIT survey. In turn, groups of volunteers gathered crucial information that showed us who is experiencing homelessness in Wake County, where gaps exist in the system, and the funding needed to bring relief. “Together, volunteers engaged over 200 people, many of whom were connected to our Access Hub for additional resources and service engagement,” added Volkel. The Partnership’s Access Hub is a referral helpline where people experiencing homelessness in Wake County can speak with compassionately trained specialists to help find the right program for their needs.
How Does the PIT Help Wake County?
The Point In Time (PIT) count provides our community with valuable data on the number of people experiencing unsheltered and sheltered homelessness, as well as trends in demographics, veteran status, and chronic homelessness over time. “PIT data helps us understand the demographics and special needs of those still experiencing homelessness,” said Volkel. The information provides accurate, real-time data. “The community can use that information combined with firsthand accounts and other data points to raise awareness of the issue, to advocate for change, and to make strides towards ending prolonged homelessness,” further explained Volkel. With this information, we can create a local strategy for developing the resources to meet identified housing and services needs in Wake County. Additionally, our data is combined with national data to inform the U.S. Congress on the scope of the homelessness crisis. U.S. Congress makes annual budget decisions that impact how much funding Housing and Urban Development (HUD) receives and then is funneled to our CoC.
Who is experiencing Unsheltered Homelessness?
In past years, the PIT Count has been Raleigh-centric. This year we successfully expanded into Garner, Knightdale, North Raleigh, Cary/Morrisville and Eastern portions of the Research Triangle Park area. We canvassed public parks, streets, campgrounds, soup kitchens, and local social services departments for unsheltered individuals.
The count revealed the majority of people counted as unsheltered are chronically homeless, single, Black, adult non-Veteran males. This data is consistent with what we have already been experiencing in our CoC. According to the 2020 Census, Wake County had 18% of its total population identify as Black. However, the homeless response system served a disproportionate number of Black identifying persons at 69% of the total number of persons receiving homelessness response services.
Data for the 2022 Point in Time Count is still being collated. A full report with both sheltered and unsheltered data will be released this Spring. For more information on the PIT Count and links to past years’ data, visit our Point In Time page.
Thank You to Our Community!
Thank you to Volunteers and Donors
This year, we relied on donations of toiletry items, snacks and more to hand out to those taking our survey. The Partnership owes a big thank you to the organizations that helped in collecting supplies and filling the backpacks handed out. In addition, we are incredibly grateful to the agencies that led teams of volunteers in conducting the PIT Count.
Volunteers and Donors:
- Healing Transitions
- Raleigh Police Department
- Subway in Downtown Raleigh
- Town of Cary
- Wake Med
Agencies that led PIT Count Volunteers:
- Church in the Woods
- Haven House
- Oak City Cares
- Raleigh PD ACORNS unit (Addressing Crises through Outreach, Referrals, Networking and Service)
- Triangle Family Services
- WakeMed HEART Team (Homeless Engagement Assistance & Resource Team)
Bringing Community Together
The Partnership recognizes that each local agency serving the homeless holds its own piece to the complicated solution to ending homelessness. No single entity can accomplish this massive goal alone. As the backbone agency in Wake County’s Continuum of Care, the Partnership leads a collaborative network of community partners focused on solutions to end and prevent homelessness in our community.