INDIANAPOLIS — Volunteers are working to measure the number of people experiencing homelessness.
The Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention (CHIP) is conducting the annual Point-In-Time (PIT) count Monday. This count helps the organization create plans for addressing homelessness in the city.
“We use it here locally for our own planning efforts, and to really understand here in Indianapolis, how does homelessness change year-in and year-out,” said Chelsea Haring-Cozzi, Executive Director of CHIP. “So it gives us annual comparative data to look at trends over time, to look at how homelessness changes, who’s experiencing homelessness changes, so that we can better plan and coordinate our efforts and target funding in the most effective ways.”
During the count, volunteers will visit some common gathering spots for people experiencing homelessness. This includes homeless shelters, libraries and day centers. The volunteers ask people about their plans to find shelter.
“There have been huge efforts over the last year to get more and more people into permanent housing,” said Haring-Cozzi. “With the infusion of CARES Act funding, our community has also rallied around really trying to ramp up and elevate permanent housing solutions. So, we’re also hopeful that we’ve gotten more people into housing over the last year.”
This count is required by the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development for communities receiving funding. The 2021 PIT count found nearly 2,000 people were experiencing homelessness in Marion County, the most in the last decade.
“We attribute part of that to the changed methodology. We had more days and opportunities to find people,” said Haring-Cozzi. “Instead of just a short window on a single night, it was a multi-day count. So we really took a lot from that methodology, and decided to keep it this year.”
The 2022 PIT count will take place through Friday.