Each year during the last 10 days of January, the entire country participates in the Point-in-Time Count.
The PIT Count is required by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and allows local officials to capture a “snapshot” of the extent of homelessness in Richmond County. The PIT Count surveys both the sheltered and the unsheltered.
The 2020 PIT Count will take place the week of Jan. 21. The event requires the participation of the community and a large number of volunteers. Among the volunteers this year will be dozens of Augusta University Bachelor of Science in Nursing students from Dr. Carol Hunter’s Community and Public Health Nursing course.
On Wednesday, Jan. 15, the students, along with dozens of other community volunteers, attended the orientation and training held by the Augusta-Richmond County Housing and Community Development (HCD) department.
During the training, volunteers learned the history of the PIT Count, why the count is required, how the count is utilized and how to perform the count.
Volunteers will travel in groups no smaller than four with an officer from Richmond County Sheriff’s department. Volunteers will survey individuals using a phone app. The app prompts the surveyor with questions and consolidates all collected data to a centralized database. After Jan. 31, the app shuts down and the data will be analyzed. HCD will have a better understanding of the homeless and unsheltered population in the county after analysis.
Volunteers are still needed for the PIT Count and can sign up online. Any questions may be directed to Lynda Barrs, Continuum of Care PIT committee chair, or Lasima Turmon, Augusta-Richmond County HCD program coordinator.
Prior to the count, volunteers are needed for donation solicitation, volunteer recruitment and general planning. Contact Lynda Barrs to participate in those efforts.