Focus on Youth Homelessness: Point in Time Count
How do we know how many youth are experiencing homelessness on a given night in Cincinnati?
One of the ways that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) gets an accurate count of how many people are experiencing homelessness is through a coordinated Point in Time Count. That combines a census of people sleeping in emergency shelters, transitional housing units, with a count of people sleeping in places not meant for human habitation.
Volunteers are needed to count how many people are experiencing unsheltered homelessness on a given night. They visit known homeless camps, bridges, and other public places where people are known to sleep. To this, we add the number of individuals in emergency shelter and transitional housing. This gives us a snapshot of how many people are experiencing homelessness.
However, it does not reflect the individuals sleeping in doubled up locations, couch surfing, or other risky housing situations. To get a sense of how many young people face these challenges on a given night in Cincinnati, the Lighthouse Youth Advisory Council partnered with the Youth Outreach Program and the downtown branch of the Hamilton County Public Library. Together we collected this information by surveying young people between the ages of 18-24 on their housing situation.
Ultimately, the group interacted with 54 young people between the ages of 18-24. We connected 6 to receive assistance in obtaining housing, shelter and other services. And collected contact information on 10 more youth sleeping in unstable situations. One young woman (a mother of 2) was connected to the Youth Outreach Program and through the Central Access Point. She was able to receive shelter for her family.
Tags: homelessness, News