Annual count of homeless individuals and families helps determine federal funding for Ashe, Avery, Watauga, Wilkes, Alleghany, Mitchell and Yancey counties
Boone, N.C. – Wednesday, January 30, 2019, marks the annual Point-in-Time Count. The Point-in-Time (PIT) Count, coordinated by the Northwest Continuum of Care (CoC), is the annual documentation of the extent of homelessness in the High Country region, which includes Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yancey counties.
The information from the PIT Count provides a valuable snapshot of the state and extent of homelessness in our region and informs support service providers on the priorities to prevent and end homelessness. The Point in Time Count is a requirement of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, which currently supports the Northwest CoC member agencies with $289,952 in competitive grant funding.
The 2018 PIT Count documented 449 people experiencing homelessness, 47 percent of those being children and 69 percent of the total unsheltered individuals.
The Northwest CoC asks churches, local government law enforcement agencies and service providers — food pantries, shelters, community kitchens, schools, utilities, and hospitals — with knowledge of individuals and families experiencing homelessness to contact Emma Rose via email; [email protected], or Shane Johnson via email [email protected] or call either at Hospitality House (828) 264-1237, the lead agency of the Northwest CoC.
“Based on previous Point-in-Time counts we have seen a both a higher number and higher percentage of families experiencing homelessness,” states Hospitality House executive director, Tina Krause. Our Continuum of Care has worked very hard to find permanent housing for those families.”
In fact, through the 2017 Point in Time count, the Northwest Continuum of Care was alerted to the fact that 43 percent of all unsheltered North Carolina homeless families live in their seven county area.
Krause continues, “While our coordinated entry programs continue to yield a lower number of unsheltered individuals and families, we realize that there is still a lot more work to do.”
If you are experiencing homelessness, please come forward to be counted. Let a food pantry, school, community kitchen or church know where you are. The count respects confidentiality of those experiencing homelessness and does not obligate anyone for unwanted services. Knowing the extent of homelessness, particularly homeless families and veterans, assists the development of support services to meet the basic needs of housing to those in need.