Innovating HUD Homeless Counts

ASR focuses its community building efforts to end homelessness through peer-centric data collection that informs community action. Since 2005, ASR has paid special attention to youth experiencing homelessness and this has included dedicated youth outreach to develop a clearer picture of the extent of youth homelessness. In order to obtain a more comprehensive view of youth homelessness, ASR has continued to refine youth count methodologies and innovate, including interactive mapping of hotspots for youth experiencing homelessness and peer-led surveying. ASR continues to gain insight to improve the data collection process working with youth and their advocates to be more inclusive, thorough, and respectful in all phases of its participatory data to action cycle.

The Homeless Point-in-Time Census reports are created from the outreach focused street counts combined with shelter and institution reporting to produce a Point-in-Time estimated number of persons experiencing homelessness in a county on a given night. All counties hoping to receive funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are mandated to conduct this type of count every other year during the last 10 days of January. For ASR, 2016 was a year of refreshed and refined approaches in the pursuit of helping to better serve the needs of homeless and other vulnerable populations.

Number of Homeless Individuals from Homeless Census Count

Our partnerships and these refreshed approaches affected the 2017 HUD Point-In-Time counts through enhanced maps, streamlined processes, preparedness, and trainings. ASR collaborates with counties in data collection and reporting, blending academic research practices with proven methodology for the most accurate results. Each count has unique opportunities and incorporating this into customized methodologies heightens the meaning making. In 2017, ASR facilitated Point-In-Time Homeless Counts across 11 counties in California and Washington: Alameda, Marin, Solano, Santa Clara, Sonoma, Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, San Francisco, Santa Cruz and King (WA).

Below are links to the media coverage of the 2017 Point-In-Time counts, providing many perspectives:

·         Santa Cruz County - Volunteers canvass for homeless across Santa Cruz County 

·         King County - Counting the Homeless Is Hard. Here’s What Friday Night’s Count Numbers Will, and Won’t, Mean

·         Monterey County - Monterey County volunteers conduct 2017 Homeless Census 

·         Santa Clara County - Volunteers, guides fan out for Silicon Valley homeless count

·         Solano County - Solano County conducts homeless census 

·         Alameda County - Alameda County: Formerly homeless lead volunteers in biennial census 

·         Marin County - Volunteers make sure homeless people count