On Tuesday night, more than 40 volunteers and staff from county non-profit organizations will embark upon a daunting task: to count the number of people who are homeless in Middlesex County.
These include people who may be living in shelters, in transitional housing programs, on the streets, in the woods or in abandoned buildings.
The count takes place from 5:30 to 11 p.m. Information from the count will enable us to gauge the extent of homelessness, determine the services needed to end it, and help leverage federal funding to support those services.
The Middlesex County contingent will meet at the Middletown. The evening will begin with orientation and brief training, and volunteers will be assigned to designated areas to located unsheltered people and conduct the survey.
- In Search of the Homeless
- Making the Homeless Count
- Middlesex Homelessness Discussion and Sleep-Out
This effort is part of the national Point-in-Time Count that has mobilized non-profits, local and state government agencies, and hundreds of concerned citizens from every region of the country. Its purpose is to gather critical data in order to target efforts to prevent and end homelessness.
“Collecting reliable baseline data is essential to understanding the causes of homelessness and designing effective interventions to help homeless people rebuild their lives,” said Lisa Callahan, Middlesex County PIT Coordinator and Associate Executive Director of Mercy Housing and Shelter.
Thecount will collect annual data in order to better understand the dynamic causes of homelessness, to evaluate the effectiveness of programs serving homeless people and, ultimately, to track progress towards ending homelessness in Middlesex County. The PIT will also help to identify the some of the disabling health condition s of chronically homeless people.
“The annual Point-in-Time count is an extremely useful tool to identify the extent of thehomelessness and to develop programs to end homelessness in our county,” said Lydia Brewster of St. Vincent DePaul Middletown. “We are very grateful to all the volunteers and staff that each year makes this project possible.”
Anyone interested in volunteering to assist with the count should contact Lisa at (860) 262-5352 orLisa.Callahan@ct.gov.
In late 2007, a group of community volunteers came together to form the Middlesex County Coalition on Housing and Homelessness for the purpose of implementing the county’s Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness.
Through the creation of permanent supportive housing, the operation of a Homelessness Prevention Fund, the development of programs to help homeless people find and retain jobs, and improving coordination of services for the homeless, the Coalition is dedicated to achieving its goal of “An End In Ten” — eradicating the tragedy of homelessness from our communities by 2018.