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Towns, cities called on to help in annual homelessness count

The Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness is asking towns to participate in this year’s Point-in-Time Count on Jan. 26 and help identify people experiencing homelessness.

“Due to COVID-19, the Coalition will not be relying on community volunteers this year,” CCEH said in a news release. “Outreach professionals and municipal staff will instead participate in the PIT Count, completing surveys on clients sleeping out in the cold or in places not meant for human habitation.”

CCEH is partnering with the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities and is seeking staff from local municipalities to submit a list of locations in their towns where they have seen people sleeping outside in the past, according to the release.

Data from the federally mandated PIT Count, the largest national homelessness data collection event, helps determine homeless funding for the upcoming year.

“Last year’s PIT Count identified 2,904 people who were homeless on the night of the Count, a 4% decline from the prior year,” the release stated. “This figure included 1,947 individual adults and 306 family households including 560 children. Data showed a 35% decline since 2007, the lowest count ever recorded in the state of Connecticut.”

“It’s a tragedy that people are sleeping outside in January,” Richard Cho, CEO of the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, said in a statement. “Safely collecting data in towns across the state will allow us to fully appreciate the scope of the challenge we have ahead of us.” 

According to the release, towns and cities may be eligible to receive credit for participation in the count under Sustainable CT’s Effective, Compassionate Homelessness Prevention category that “outlines steps that municipalities may follow to prevent and end homelessness in their region.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for our member towns to proactively prevent and end homelessness within their towns, regions and collectively as a state," Joseph DeLong, CEO of CCM said in a statement.

More information is available by contacting Madeline Ravich at mravich@cceh.org.

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