Once per year the Coalition, with the help of many volunteers, conducts a Point in Time (PIT) census to count the homeless and provide data to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The PIT count is also used to gather information that allows local service providers to target services to meet the specific needs of the homeless in our communities.
The PIT count, which asked people where they slept the night of January 31, 2014, included both sheltered and unsheltered homeless individuals and families. The PIT count was able to document 871 homeless persons, of which 224 were considered to be chronically homeless. HUD defines chronic homelessness as “an unaccompanied homeless individual with a disabling condition who has either continuously been homeless for a year or more or has had at least four episodes of homelessness in the past three years.” Among the 871 persons surveyed, 56 percent reported having a disabling condition. Also among the 871 were 62 families with 81 children. Veterans made up for 14 percent of those surveyed. Data obtained through the Lee County Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), PIT count, and the School District of Lee County found that during the course of the year, there are an estimated 2,970 homeless individuals within Lee County.
Housing and service programs for the homeless are provided in part through Continuum of Care funds from HUD. The 2013/2014 Continuum of Care funding application for Lee County was submitted February 3, 2014. The application included funding requests to sustain 11 programs in the County, which are operated by the Lee County Department of Human Services, SalusCare, CASL/Renaissance Manor, and The Salvation Army. The total requested amount was $2,159,787.
The Lee County Homeless Coalition would like to extend a special thank you to the volunteers that assisted with this year’s PIT count.