HOUSING + HOMELESSNESS

Volunteers to assess homelessness in Utah

Jan 23, 2024, 8:15 AM | Updated: Jan 31, 2024, 11:19 am

Charles Vann, who has been homeless for five years, moves into his unit at the Switchpoint microshe...

Charles Vann, who has been homeless for five years, moves into his unit at the Switchpoint microshelter community in Salt Lake City, on Thursday, Dec. 21, 2023. The temporary shelter community is a pilot program that will house 50 individuals.(Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)

(Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Volunteers from several Salt Lake County organizations will conduct a region-wide, Point-in-Time Count. The count will assess homelessness in Utah through survey questions and counting. 

According to End Utah Homelessness, the Point-in-Time Count occurs annually. The goal is to gather data on those experiencing homelessness who are and are not living in a shelter. 

“PIT Counts provide important information about the homelessness landscape and are also essential for federal funding,” said the 2023 count summary. 

Additionally, the press release said that a goal of the PIT Count is to connect those experiencing homelessness with services that could help them. 

The count will only include those who are in the homeless services management information system or who can be physically seen during the event, per the 2023 report. Those living in alternative housing situations, such as motels or couch surfing, will not be counted. 

Volunteering 

Volunteers will do more than count the number of homeless people they see. The press release said they will also gather information from those experiencing homelessness in Utah.

Volunteers will ask the homeless questions. They will cover housing barriers, health, domestic violence, and self-sufficiency, per the press release. 

The event will occur from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. on January 25, 26, and 27. The press release said that some volunteers will meet at a designated location at the beginning of each day. Then, they will work in assigned areas throughout Salt Lake County. 

The volunteers will collect data from those experiencing homelessness in Utah with an app created by the surveyor’s office. 

Those who are interested in volunteering can visit the End Utah Homelessness website to learn more or sign up. 

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Volunteers to assess homelessness in Utah