For immediate release:
United Way KFL&A leads local 2021 Point in Time Homeless Count
Counts are a community-level measure of sheltered and unsheltered homelessness, helping to provide a national picture of homelessness
Kingston, ON (April 14, 2021) United Way is responsible for coordinating and conducting the Point in Time (PIT) Count in Kingston. Working with the City of Kingston and agency partners, our community has conducted 3 PIT Counts since 2013.
Funded in part by the federal government’s Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy, a PIT Count helps determine the extent of homelessness in a community on a given night, or at a single point in time. It provides a “snapshot” of the characteristics of a community’s homeless population, to better understand the nature and extent of homelessness to support planning and program delivery to address the issue. When done on more than one occasion, a PIT Count allows communities to assess their progress in reducing homelessness over time.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 PIT Count was not able to happen and will instead take place on April 14, 2021 at 7pm. The bi-annual process typically involves training and deploying volunteers out onto the streets, who conduct face to face surveys with individuals experiencing homelessness. However, because of COVID-19, this year’s count will be entirely conducted by agencies with no additional street surveys. Staff will ensure a safe enumeration and survey process within shelters, drop-in centres, institutions and transitional housing programs, following all current health and safety protocols.
“Despite the challenges involved in conducting a PIT Count during a pandemic, it is crucial to understand how homelessness has changed since the last count and how it has been affected by the pandemic,” said Bhavana Varma, President and CEO, United Way KFL&A. “We really appreciate the efforts of our local agencies, healthcare partners and local institutions assisting in this count. The results will help better identify trends and inform planning and policy decisions among various organizations and governments going forward.”
For more information on the Point in Time Count visit https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/homelessness/resources/point-in-time.html and for the results of previous Point in Time counts in Kingston visit https://www.unitedwaykfla.ca/reports/
Note: Data collected from the PIT Count is in addition to the information that the City of Kingston collects through the By Name List https://www.cityofkingston.ca/-/quality-of-city-s-by-name-list-of-homeless-people-recognized-by-built-for-zero-canada
About United Way of KFL&A
United Way works with individuals, organizations and key partners in KFL&A to build and strengthen the community bringing people and resources together to facilitate change. Our vision is a future where people are self-sufficient in a community where individuals live with hope, dignity and a sense of belonging. Visit www.unitedwaykfla.ca for more information.
Mandy Pasch, Manager, Marketing and Communications
United Way KFL&A