As Point-in-Time Counts begin this week and extend through next week across the country, the issue of homelessness is brought front and center. As stated by a homeless coalition leader in Texas, “The key to solving homelessness is understanding who is homeless.” The 2013 PIT Count, unlike previous counts, focuses on capturing the number of youth experiencing homelessness. In Los Angeles, youth experiencing homelessness are helping to count their peers to support this 2013 PIT Count effort.
The nine sites involved in the interagency Youth Count! initiative, are starting their work this week and next to implement strategies for counting youth and to also find out more detailed information about youth experiencing homelessness and helping to connect them to services. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune wrote about the Youth Count! work in Hannepin County here.
Read about Youth Count! here.
Some communities are also utilizing this PIT count as an opportunity to integrate efforts such as a 100,000 Homes Campaign registry week and events with social service providers to connect individuals to assistance.
There have been dozens of stories this week on communities conducting their PIT counts, and we look forward to hearing more from communities throughout next week. USICH staff will be participating in PIT counts across the country and will be blogging on their experiences in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!
Beginning the Second Term
This week USICH and our federal partners also officially began the second term of President Obama. This is an important time for Opening Doors, especially in our work to reach the 2015 goals of ending Veterans homelessness and ending chronic homelessness. At the beginning of the second term, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan was interviewed by Affordable Housing Finance on his proudest moments of the first term—including decreasing Veterans homelessness and the success of HPRP—and what he’s looking forward to in the second term.
Veterans homelessness is also a clear focus in the second term. USICH and its partners are accelerating progress and working together to integrate housing, health, and supportive services for Veterans in need. The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Tom O’Toole wrote a blog post for us this week about Homeless Patient Aligned Care Teams (HPACT). Check out his blog here.