The Point in Time Count occurs nationwide every year, and allows each county to collect important data on those experiencing homelessness. It is conducted every year so that we can monitor trends and changes in homelessness. Once the data is collected, it is reviewed and then used to determine what services need to be expanded or introduced, and where government funding is most necessary.
This year, several Eddy House staff volunteered to participate in the annual Point in Time Count on Thursday, January 26th. Among them were our Chief Operations Officer Jillian Keller, Chief Programs Officer Ryan Sexton, Outreach Manager and Coordinator Jose Silonxochitl and Hailey Armer, Development Coordinator Zoie Harmer, and our Office Manager Elisa Garcia. For a few, it was their first year participating in the count, while others were returning after volunteering for last year’s count.
Starting bright and early at 4 a.m., the Eddy House volunteer team gathered at the Washoe County Housing and Homeless Services Division offices in downtown Reno to get ready for the count. They were divided into small teams, and each team was assigned a zone in the county and paired up with a law enforcement officer, who would assist them in finding encampments and intervene in the rare case that a safety concern arose.
In each zone, volunteers approached homeless individuals one by one to gently wake them and ask them to complete a survey. The goal of the count is to collect as much data as possible on homelessness in Washoe County, which in turn informs the allocation of federal funding for homelessness.