Living Columns & Blogs

Point-in-Time count aims to locate, help homeless in Centre County

Every year, Centre County joins the state of Pennsylvania in a nationwide initiative called the Point-in-Time (PIT) count. PIT offers an opportunity to locate and connect with the unsheltered homeless population who our service providers may not already interact with.

We are also able to collect additional information regarding the usage of existing housing programs and service gaps in Centre County. During last year’s count, held Wednesday, Jan. 24, four individuals were identified as being unsheltered and homeless, meaning they had slept somewhere that is typically not meant for human habitation. A location that is deemed unsuitable for human habitation includes: the street, vehicles, tents, hallways, campground sites, abandoned buildings or under bridges. During the day, the unsheltered homeless population may find respite at restaurants, retailers, libraries, and other community buildings.

This year, teams will be canvasing Centre County on Thursday, Jan. 24 looking to connect with and provide services to the unsheltered homeless population. Teams will ask where they slept the night before, offer housing and shelter referrals, and provide care packages.

In addition, teams would also like to speak with individuals/families who are homeless but “doubled-up” (i.e. staying with family and/or friends) or may be experiencing near-homelessness to discuss emergency, temporary or permanent housing options. While four unsheltered homeless individuals were identified last year during PIT, 62 homeless individuals were also sheltered in either one of our emergency shelters or transitional housing units.

Homelessness is a very real issue in Centre County and, in an effort to connect with the individuals/families that need our services the most, we are asking for your assistance. If you know the whereabouts of someone who is homeless, or you yourself are homeless, please contact the Office of Adult Services at adultservices@centrecountypa.gov or 355-6768 ext. 2 no later than Tuesday, Jan. 22.

Faith Ryan is the director of Centre County’s Office of Adult Services.
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