The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is the primary funding source for housing opportunities for individuals and families experiencing homelessness in Lycoming County. As such, HUD requires communities to count the number of individuals and families currently experiencing homelessness, including those who are in shelters and those unsheltered, through a basic interview process.
An unsheltered point-in-time count will take place in Lycoming County on Jan. 30. The count will serve as a snapshot of the homeless situation on that particular day, highlighting those individuals defined as unsheltered: sleeping in a location that is not meant for human habitation: vehicles, streets, parks, sidewalks, bus stops or stations, abandoned buildings and tents.
The data collected through the count will be used in HUD's planning process to work toward the long-term goal of ending homelessness by addressing the housing and service needs of those experiencing both sheltered and unsheltered homelessness.
Conducting the point-in-time count of unsheltered homeless households also provides communities with an opportunity to locate, identify and engage households experiencing homelessness. Once these households are known to homeless service providers, ongoing outreach and resources can be provided.
Finally, the unsheltered point-in-time count provides an opportunity for members of the community to be educated about the scope and needs of the homeless within their community, as well as the importance of affordable housing.
Representatives of YWCA Northcentral PA, STEP Inc., Pennsylvania House of Representatives, American Rescue Workers, Lycoming-Clinton MH/ID, Lycoming County Prison, Lycoming County United Way and Family Promise of Lycoming County have combined efforts to gain accurate results from this semi-annual point-in-time count.
Outreach will include local hospitals, camping facilities, churches, soup kitchens, shelters, food pantries, American Red Cross and veteran affairs offices.
For more information or to volunteer with the count, call Adrienne Wertz, Lycoming County United Way, at 323-9448 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.