Every January, the Community Health Partnership conducts a Point-In-Time (PIT) count in El Paso County. This is a way for the Community Health Partnership, El Paso County, tthe City of Colorado Springs, and local service providers to obtain clear data on how many people are experiencing homelessness within our community.
When a community member identifies as a homeless individual during the Point-In-Time count, they are asked by service providers if they are willing to participate in a survey to better understand their situation. The survey asks a range of questions anywhere from current or past health ailments, veteran status, or the location of the last place they were effectively housed.
Crystal Karr, the City’s homelessness prevention and response coordinator, says in addition to the data, the survey is an important way to reach the population of people experiencing homelessness and help restore some dignity.
“These are people who feel like they aren’t being seen, so during these visits we listen to their stories and try to show them they are being seen and accounted for,” said Karr.
After initial surveys are collected from volunteers and continuum of care partners, Community Health Partnership analyzes the data. This data influences a variety of programs, funding opportunities for our community, and helps us to better gauge the needs of our community.
Along with local programs, if there is an increase in numbers of people needing assistance identified through the PIT count, grants can be sought out and applied for through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
HUD, in addition to other assistance, provides federal grants to municipalities who may need additional funds to help those experiencing homelessness.
Data from the January PIT count is generally released each summer.