PREBLE COUNTY — From sundown on Tuesday, Jan. 26 through sunrise on Wednesday, Jan. 27, several volunteers and members of the Point in Time committee were busy counting the homeless population of Preble County.
Those involved checked old schools, parks, bridges, and several other locations throughout the night.
The committee’s objective, as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), is a count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons in the community during one day. It must be unduplicated using statistically reliable methods.
HUD will use that count to determine how much federal funding the county receives for homeless services.
They counted both sheltered and unsheltered homeless during the timeframe, using emergency cold shelter, homeless shelter, and domestic violence shelter for the sheltered count.
There was a change in the definition of chronically homeless, however, because they will count subpopulation as well.
The new definition states: “a person or family who is homeless and lives in place not fit for human habitation, a safe haven, or in a shelter, and have been homeless in one of those locations continuously for one year or at least four separate occasions in the last three years where the combined length in homelessness is at least 12 months.”
They must also have a disability.
Point in Time had a specific set of questions and guidelines for every homeless person they came across, and were required to offer to bring every person into the homeless or cold weather shelter, whether the facility was full or not.
Last year, they brought four people back to these shelters.
The Register-Herald rode along with one of the groups for a portion of the night and will have a full report on the evening in next week’s edition.