Rural Oregon prepares for annual headcount of people experiencing homelessness

From KATU:

Every year homeless service providers coordinate a physical headcount of the populations they serve.

It’s called the “Point In Time” (PIT) count and is required by the federal housing authority to help determine how much grant money each region will qualify for.

“It is like a census of the homeless population of those folks that are living homeless, and it’s the only federally recognized number,” said Scott McKee [with Community Services Consortium] who coordinates the count for Linn, Lincoln and Benton counties.

It takes place for providers nationwide over a couple of days toward the end of January.

“We need them to know the accurate numbers so we can get our fair share of the resources,” McKee said noting that it’s not just a matter of federal dollars. “When our governor, Tina Kotek, came and took office one of the first things that she did was three emergency declarations — all of those surrounding homelessness, and when she did that the only meter that she had to go off of, that she was willing to use to decide who got access to that funding — which was tens of millions of dollars — was the Point and Time count numbers.”

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