Annual count of Upstate homeless scheduled for Wednesday night - FOX Carolina 21

Annual count of Upstate homeless scheduled for Wednesday night

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(FOX Carolina)/Jan. 24, 2018 (FOX Carolina)/Jan. 24, 2018

On Wednesday, January 24th, volunteers around the nation were out on city streets and in rural communities, working to count the homeless. 

It happened right here in the Upstate as well, and it's called the Point in Time Count, or P.I.T Count, for short.

The goal is to get a "snap shot" look at the homeless issue around the nation.  The count, mandated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, is so that federal dollars can be properly allocated to help fight homelessness.  In the Upstate, the count is organized by SC Upstate Continuum of Care.  Cecilia Rodriquez works for the agency.

"We go out and recruit volunteers and we do counts, folks that are literally on the streets.  So we go out and ask them, 'Where are you sleeping tonight?'" Rodriquez explained.

United Housing Connections coordinates the Upstate Continuum of Care’s efforts throughout 13 counties in the Upstate, working with agencies that help the homeless in the region. 

"We are made up of 13 counties and there are over 80 providers that participate in the Continuum of Care," said Rodriquez.

The count goes on for seven days, but it's focused on where the homeless population spent the night on Wednesday, January 24th.  This year, Rodriquez said that there are a good amount of volunteers, so they're expecting to get accurate numbers with more boots on the ground.  

"We're concentrating and making sure that we had a good amount of volunteers to recruit and get them in every location possible, " she said.

Another Continuum of Care employee, Austin Barrett, told us, it's not just about the numbers.  The count is about making sure homeless folks get the help they need.

"It's all about the clients, helping to tell their story," Barrett said.  "So we're collecting this information, not only for a federal mandate but also so we can accumulate that information so we know about the services that are necessary and needed here within our community."

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