During the early morning of Wednesday, January 23rd, volunteers gathered in the basement of Families in Transition to complete the 2013 unsheltered Point-in-Time (PIT) Count. These volunteers, mostly MCoC members along with some Americorps VISTAs, split into groups before braving the cold to walk the streets of Manchester and count the homeless.
Each year, across the United States, Continuums of Care conduct a count of all the unsheltered and sheltered homeless in their area. In addition to providing important data on the local level, these counts help the Department of Housing and Urban Development to keep track of national trends in the homeless population.
The MCoC’s volunteer teams were led by outreach workers, Dave Carroll, Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester and Roger Beauchamp, Southern New Hampshire Services as well as previous PIT alums, Mark Stokes and Cathy Kuhn of Families in Transition. Each group was assigned to walk different areas of Manchester including the downtown streets surrounding New Horizons, the west side of the city, and the South Willow Street area. Volunteers also checked several public parking lots at area grocery stores and many 24 hour facilities. Considering the chilly temperatures (volunteers, themselves, had to take several “warm-up” breaks), volunteers were happy not to find too many people out on the streets without shelter. One thing that differs from past PIT Counts is that this year several cars and RVs were found being used by homeless individuals and families.
The MCoC is grateful for the wonderful group of volunteers involved in the 2013 PIT. If you are interested in learning more about this year’s Point-in-Time Count, please check out this NHPR article written by Todd Bookman, who joined us for the Count: http://nhpr.org/post/counting-homeless-cold.