CHGM Hosts HUD Secretary Donovan During Annual Point In Time Count
On January 29, 2014, over 200 volunteers joined members of homeless services organizations from all over the city to perform DC’s eighth annual Point In Time Count. The count is a census of the homeless population that takes place, nationwide, in the last week of January every year. This year, CHGM served on the Point In Time coordinating committee, which entailed recruiting, area mapping, and volunteer training. We also were honored to have the Secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Shaun Donovan, join CHGM staff to canvass a portion of Capitol Hill in search of unsheltered homeless neighbors. The group also surveyed the individuals taking advantage of one of the city’s new warming buses, parked in front of Union Station.
The night of the Point In Time Count started early this year with a kick-off event to launch the Way Home Campaign, an initiative to end chronic homelessness in DC by 2017. Volunteers then listened to words of thanks and encouragement from DC Mayor, Vincent Grey, U.S. Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs, Eric Shinseki, and U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Shaun Donovan before bundling up and deploying in small groups across the city. From 10:00pm to 2:00am, volunteers canvassed streets, sidewalks, buildings, bridges, and back alleyways looking for our homeless neighbors, many of whom have no choice but to live in our public spaces.
The data collected from this year’s Point in Time Count will provide critical information to service providers and policy makers concerning where to focus city and federal dollars in the on-going struggle to prevent and end homelessness. CHGM is sincerely thankful to the many dedicated volunteers who assisted in the count and to the city organizers and HUD staff who worked hard to ensure the count’s success.