United Way Conducts Annual Survey of Local Homeless Population

Staff Report From Columbus CEO

Monday, January 29th, 2018

United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley conducted their tenth annual survey of the homeless population in Muscogee and Russell County Monday evening and Tuesday morning. The survey, known as the Point In Time Count, sheds light on the situations of local sheltered and unsheltered homeless individuals, and gathers information to help those in need as well as develop more effective homelessness prevention programs.
This year, 279 homeless individuals were surveyed. Volunteers surveyed 201 individuals on Monday evening at local shelters. Seventy-eight unsheltered individuals were surveyed on Tuesday morning across Muscogee and Russell County. The survey collected data about each individual’s current housing situation, families, and health.
“The Point In Time Count allows us to see how big of an impact we’re having throughout the year in helping homeless individuals and families find housing,” said Pat Frey, Executive Director of United Way’s Home For Good program. “Not only does it allow us to count people, but to assess their needs so we can better align community resources to meet those needs.” she added.
For the first time, the survey was administered electronically by volunteers using an electronic tablet to record answers of survey participants. T-Mobile loaned 20 tablets to United Way to use during the survey, and thoroughly erased all data collected during the survey after completion. Two United Way community partners teamed up to help with goodie boxes for the survey participants. The House of T.I.M.E. purchased 400 boxes of food from Feeding The Valley Food Bank and donated the boxes to the PIT Count. The leftover boxes will be distributed at Project Homeless Connect.
In 2017, PIT Count volunteers surveyed 282 homeless individuals, 209 sheltered and 73 unsheltered. The highest count was in 2011 when nearly 500 individuals were surveyed.
“We are beyond thankful for the efforts of volunteers, police officers, and local agencies that helped with the Point In Time Count,” said Scott Ferguson, President & CEO of United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley. “It takes a lot of compassionate people to pull this off, and thanks to their efforts we were able to see the progress made in serving the community’s homeless population since last year,” he added.
Text HOME to 40403 to give to United Way’s Home For Good program to help end homelessness.