January 24, 2022

Annual count of people experiencing homelessness in Indianapolis underway


Annual count of people experiencing homelessness in Indianapolis underway

The annual Point-In-Time count will be held this week.  A change from pre-pandemic, the assessment of homelessness in Indianapolis will once again be taken over a period of days but still represent a single night in January.

Last year was the first for the multi-day count strategy because of COVID-19. 

Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention Executive Director Chelsea Haring-Cozzi said that count found 1,928 people experiencing homelessness, the most in a decade.

“Part of what we attribute that to is the methodology change, that we had more time to go out and find people and connect with people and survey people,” Haring-Cozzi said.

Monday, Jan. 24 is the night people will be asked about.  The survey, which is required by HUD, serves as a tool to assess how homelessness is changing and where resources should be targeted. 

Haring-Cozzi said any community receiving federal funding is required to conduct the count.

“We also do it for our own community planning purposes, so the Point-in-Time count allows us as a community to look at trends and year over year changes around homelessness … A snapshot,” Haring Cozzi said.

The count includes a complete look at race, gender, household makeup and unsheltered individuals. 

This year, community volunteers will assist at locations including day centers and food pantries. Last year the count was completed by professional outreach workers and others who work with people experiencing homelessness

The city is offering hotel space and a former IPS school for additional shelter this winter.

After the count is completed, CHIP and partners will complete data cleanup and submit the analysis.  and final community report this summer

Last year’s PIT Count took place during the week of Jan. 18. Key findings of the 2021 count include:
There were 1,928 people experiencing homelessness counted.

The number of unsheltered individuals increased to 263, from a five-year low of 108 in 2019.

Those identifying as Black or African American continue to be disproportionately represented in the homeless population at 54%

Of all youth eligible for homeless services in schools through the McKinney-Vento Homelessness Assistance Act, 59% were Black.

2021 marked a continued trend in the increase of individuals older than 62 experiencing homelessness.

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