Get counted, get resources at Homeless PIT Count

Individuals and families  who face housing instability find shelter and a safe place to sleep wherever they can. This can mean sleeping on the streets, in their vehicles, or in parks, camps, and other places not meant for human habitation, often at the risk of being caught and told to move. It is precisely this instability that makes an accurate estimate of Oregon’s homeless population on a given day or night so elusive. Yet, knowing this is indeed important.

Not just an exercise for its own sake, nor a means to harsher public space regulations, Oregon’s bi-annual Point in Time Homeless Count is a county partnership pulling together county data on the homeless in individual communities. The result may simply seem like a statistic - until meaning is drawn through how it is applied. Consider the following applications provided by event organizer Community Action:

  • Increases our understanding of homelessness, including information about the causes and impacts of homelessness. 
  • Provides us the information needed to plan and identify resources and services to better help individuals out of homelessness, and prevent it in the first place. 
  • Accurate homeless statistics are necessary to receive millions of dollars in continued federal funding for homeless programs in counties around the state. 

That’s pretty impactful stuff, but also a tall task. Your participation is crucial in this effort to learn more about our state’s homeless population, however you can help, whether it’s volunteering your time, taking a survey or by donating your gently used items. 

Survey takers: Come to stationary sites around your community to be counted by taking a survey. Your responses are kept confidential and anonymous. While there, enjoy a variety of services from hair cuts to hot meals as a Thank You for your time from Oregon’s counties. 

Volunteers: have three ways to contribute to the Homeless Count happening in communities statewide. Help administer surveys to those who drop in to the community stationary sites or lend a hand in serving food and beverages to survey takers. Mobile teams will also travel around their communities looking to connect with homeless persons on the street. 

Donations: of winter wear, (ponchos, hats, gloves) outdoor gear, (tarps, propane, tents, sleeping bags, rope) and monetary and gift card donations are needed to hand out to survey participants. All of your donations are tax-deductible. Drop your items off at the Community Action office in Salem at 1164 Madison St. NE Salem 97301. Contact Amber Reeves at (503) 399-9080 with questions.

Whether you are participating as a volunteer or coming to be counted, Oregon’s counties provide the following details on their PIT counts:

PIT Count Activities

*Note*
Red pins - Homeless PIT Count
Blue pins - Homeless Connect

Polk & Marion Counties - Jan 28

Where to go: Wallace Marine Park, Cascade Gateway Park, Polk County Homeless Connect (in Dallas), Aware Food Bank (in Woodburn)
Expect: meal and beverages
Contact: “DJ Vincent” (dj@salemlf.org) at (503)949-2124

Yamhill County - Jan 28

Where to go: Amity Assembly of God, 11am - 3pm
Carlton Joseph’s Storehouse, 11am - 3pm
Dayton Christian Church, 8am - 1pm
McMinnville COOP Ministries, 9am - 2pm
McMinnville St. Barnabus Soup Kitchen, 12pm - 6pm
Newberg Youth Outreach, 8am - 3pm
Newberg River Street Church of God 5pm with Dinner, 6 - 8pm
Sheridan Grand Shermina Food Pantry,  11am - 3pm
Contact: “Sandra Van Bergen” (sandrav@yamhillcap.org) at (503) 687-1489

Josephine County - Jan 28

Where to go: Grants Pass intersection of 7th & Manzanita, 9:30am-3:30pm
Cave Junction Immanuel United Methodist Church, 9am
Wolf Creek Community Center, 11am - 4pm
Expect: service providers, meal, and resources

Malheur County - Jan 28

Where to go: Harvest House Missions, Ontario. noon - 1:30pm
Expect: warm soup and hydro-flasks

Klamath & Lake Counties - Jan 26-29

When: Jan 27, 12-2pm
Where to go: Crescent Ponderosa Christian Church
Expect: access to winter items (jackets, hats, gloves, blankets) while supplies last
Contact: Community Action Klamath County at (541) 882-3500 or Lake County at (541) 947-6035

When: Jan 26, 10am-2pm
Where to go: Lake County Senior Center
Expect: hot meal and access to limited supply of winter items (jackets, hats, gloves, blankets)
Contact: Kenda Furiman at (541) 947-6035

When: Jan 29, 1pm-3pm
Where to go: Sprague River Community Center
Expect: hot meal and access to limited supply of winter items (jackets, hats, gloves, blankets)
Contact: Community Action Klamath County at (541) 882-3500 or Lake County at (541) 947-6035

When: Jan 29, 12pm-3pm
Where to go: Klamath Assembly of God gymnasium
Expect: hot meal and access to limited supply of winter items (jackets, hats, gloves, blankets)
Contact: Community Action Klamath County at (541) 882-3500 or Lake County at (541) 947-6035

Multnomah County - Jan 28

Contact: “Carrie Young” (carrie.young@portlandoregon.gov)

Washington County - Jan 22-31

Contact: “Pat Rogers” (progers@caowash.org) with Community Action, or “Valerie Burton” (vburton@luke-dorf.org) with Luke-Dorf Inc.

Clackamas County

contact: “Lynne Deshler” (lynne@cedar-haven.net) at (503) 631-3106.

Solutions to housing barriers first start with a diagnosis of the problem at hand. This homeless Point In Time Count is an important first step. If we all do our part as those who report living situations and as volunteers, we ensure that future solutions are built on a foundation of accuracy. So come out, and participate. 

Posted on January 21, 2015 and filed under basic resources.