Chicago’s 2014 Point-in-Time Homeless Count will be done on Wednesday, Jan. 22.
A Point-in-Time Count provides a “snapshot” of who is homeless on the street or in shelters during one night in late January. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires cities to do the count to qualify for federal homeless assistance funds.
HUD’s definition of homelessness only includes people who are staying in shelters, out on the streets or other places not meant for human habitation. It does not include people doubled-up in the homes of others.
Managed by the city of Chicago, more than 250 volunteers are needed to make the 2014 Chicago count a success. The more people that volunteer, the more accurate the count. Volunteers will spread out throughout the city in teams of three to four to find homeless people sleeping outside or riding trains that night. They will conduct surveys and distribute hats and gloves.
When signing up, volunteers are asked to list the preferred sites from which they will work during the count, which runs from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.
First-time volunteers must sign up for a training when they register. This can be taken in-person or via an online webinar.
To find out more about volunteering, read these FAQs or call the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) at (312) 746-8610.
– Julie Dworkin, Director of Policy