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Regional Homeless Point-in-Time Count January 27th; Agency Asks Public for Help

Annual count of homeless individuals and families helps determine federal funding for Ashe, Avery, Watauga, Wilkes, Alleghany, Mitchell and Yancey counties.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021, marks the annual homeless 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 $337,625 in competitive grant funding.

The 2020 PIT Count documented 397 people experiencing homelessness, 25 percent of those being children and adolescents and 60 percent of the total unsheltered individuals.

“Since 2016, by expanding “housing first” programs we’ve increased the number of beds by 67 percent while decreasing unsheltered homelessness by 40 percent,” states Hospitality House of Northwest North Carolina executive director Tina B. Krause.

Krause continues, “However, there is still much work to be done. As identified by HUD’s most recent Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress, the Northwest North Carolina Continuum of Care has the third highest percentage of unsheltered families experiencing homelessness in rural America.”

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 call Hospitality House, the lead agency of the Northwest CoC., (828) 264-127 and speak with Local System Administrator Shane Johnson or Coordinated Entry and Outreach Specialist Logan Shaut. Information may also be emailed to logan@hosphouse.org or grants@hosphouse.org

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.