Canvassers Needed for the 2024 Point-in-Time Count

Sacramento Steps Forward (SSF) announced today that the evenings of Wednesday, January 24 and Thursday, January 25 have been selected for Sacramento’s 2024 Point in Time Count (PIT). SSF is seeking hundreds of volunteers to help with what will be the most wide-ranging community effort to date to determine the number of people experiencing homelessness in the Sacramento region.

The event is intended to provide a comprehensive estimate of the total number of individuals and families living outdoors and in places not intended for human habitation on a single night. SSF will release the results in a report in spring 2024. PIT data enables community leaders to better understand homelessness, design more effective policies and programs, and measure progress toward reducing and ending homelessness.

The PIT is part of a nationwide effort. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires communities to do a census to qualify for annual federal homelessness response dollars. In 2022, the Sacramento community received $30.5 million in HUD Continuum of Care funding, $29 million of which was dedicated to maintaining permanent housing programs and directly served 1,271 households.

More than 500 volunteers participated in the last PIT count in February 2022. It concluded that an estimated 9,278 individuals experienced homelessness on a single night. Find the full report on Sacramento Steps Forward website.

“The PIT is a huge community-wide effort that gives people a chance to make a meaningful contribution toward better understanding where we are and is a great way to contribute toward addressing and ultimately ending homelessness,” said Lisa Bates, Chief Executive Officer of SSF.

To register as a volunteer, visit the volunteer portal here. To learn more about volunteering and the purpose of the PIT, read the FAQs.​

The PIT’s main deployment center will be at Sacramento State’s Harper Alumni Center. Several other satellite locations will operate in the region. Canvassers will fan out to predetermined census tracts across the Sacramento region. The 2024 PIT will also include more intensive coverage of known homelessness locations along the American River Parkway.

Volunteer canvassers will be able to utilize a new “Counting Us” mobile application, a HUD approved method of counting used in many cities and counties across the U.S. The application replaces previously used apps and paper-based data collection methods. The app, developed by Simtech Solutions, Inc.— which is joining forces with SSF this year as the researcher selected for the PIT Count — will support efficient canvassing by volunteers.

To canvass, a volunteer must be at least 18 years old, be willing to travel by foot or car to predetermined locations, and be willing to use their personal smartphone and flashlight. Additional volunteers are also needed for a variety of support functions at the deployment centers. Volunteers are required to complete a volunteer training session. Two live training sessions will be offered via Zoom, on Wednesday, January 10 and Wednesday, January 17, both from 5 to 6:30 PM. For those unable to attend a live session, there is a new recorded training option with a short quiz to assure accountability and comprehension. The live training is highly recommended for new PIT volunteers.

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