Rural Oregon makes push for accurate count of all people experiencing homelessness

From KATU:

[Jesse] Noble runs [Lincoln] county’s Public Health Harm Reduction Program, handing out Narcan, clean needles, condoms and other hygiene supplies. Today, though, she is wearing a different hat.

“Have you experience dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking?” she asks. It’s one of the questions on this year’s annual Point in Time (PIT) Count.

The response to the question is “yes,” for many of the people in the camp. Noble clocks the responses in an app which takes a census of people living without a physical address.

Unlike the Census Bureau survey, this annual count has the potential to help allocate millions of dollars in federal and, in some cases, state funding to this region.

Service providers say part of the problem is that PIT counts have historically underrepresented the extent of hidden homelessness.

This year, Lincoln County has 75 volunteers from 27 different organizations making sure the county gets the most accurate PIT count possible. In years past service providers estimate the county has had less than half that number of volunteers.

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