January is always a crazy time at CVCAA. We’re fresh out of two big holidays, getting into a new year, and accepting hundreds of new utility applications from people reapplying. On top of that, on Thursday, January 26th, we will be working with our Homeless Planning Coalition to conduct our annual Point-in-Time Count. The ‘PIT’ Count, as it's commonly called, is a census of our homeless neighbors in our area to determine how big the problem is and see what steps need to be taken towards a better future.
There is a lot of preparation that goes into a PIT Count. We rely on numerous volunteers to help us go out into the community and conduct short surveys with homeless individuals who slept outside the night before or in a place not meant for human habitation, such as a dilapidated building. We also want to make sure that we are able to give these participating neighbors something in return when they take the time to talk to us, so we put together goodie bags with snacks, water, socks, wet wipes, lotion, sunscreen, and some other essentials inside.
We have three shifts people can sign up to help with on the day of the count, the first being 7:30 am-10:30 am, then 11 am-2 pm, and finally 5 pm-8 pm. We provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner for each shift before sending people out in teams to designated locations. The PIT Count headquarters will be at the St. Paul Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall. This is where volunteers will meet up before and after they count, and the PIT Count coordinators will be there at all times to help in any way.
To have a successful PIT Count, it really takes people from all over the community to pull together. The number of unsheltered neighbors we get from the PIT Count determines the amount of funding different entities get from the state and federal government for our homeless community. In 2022, our PIT Count returned saying there were 108 unsheltered individuals in the Concho Valley. Unfortunately, we know that number is very off since CVCAA and the Housing Authority of San Angelo share a housing waitlist with 188 homeless households on it. If you are interested in helping to make sure every neighbor counts, please sign up at https://signup.com/go/ZmnmrhR or reach out to Sidney Timmer by calling 325-653-2411.