Point-in-Time Count takes place in Billings
Every year HRDC Community Action Agency takes part in a collaborative effort to assess the number of homeless people and their needs across the nation. The Annual Point-in-Time Counts are conducted in order to try to ascertain how many people are homeless in our communities. The count takes place within a 24 hour period and gathers information about persons experiencing homelessness on one given night. All communities who participate conduct the research on the same day to make sure that the information gathered is as accurate as possible.
HRDC volunteers followed the Salvation Army food trucks as they make their rounds in Billings on the evening of January 24th, 2013. Despite being late January in Montana, the weather was not a negative factor in the evening’s event. ‘We are getting a lot more contacts this year because a lot more people are coming to the van for food tonight.’ said Tess Besaw, Community Impact Director for HRDC.
Besaw also said that HRDC uses the event to make people aware of the programs HRDC offers that they could benefit from. ‘We talk to people about their situation, get a little bit of background information. Hopefully we can give them some information that can help them relocate to a permanent residence.’
The point-in-time provides a snapshot of who is homeless over the course of a year. During the count, staff and volunteers gather data such as demographic information (including gender and race), causes of homelessness, where persons are sleeping, and sub-population information (such as veterans, victims of domestic violence, etc.).