PREBLE COUNTY — Each year, Home is the Foundation (HIT) is responsible for leading the annual count of Preble County’s homeless. This count is called a Point in Time (PIT) count and was held on Tuesday, Jan. 26 under the leadership of Jennifer Weathington, HIT Foundation Housing Services Manager, and in partnership with the YWCA of Dayton Preble County.
The annual Point in Time Count is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in order for the counties throughout Ohio to receive federal funding. The PIT Count is an estimate of Preble County’s homeless population on any given night. The HIT Foundation and other communities across the state and country use this information to better serve those experiencing homelessness or housing crisis to help guide communities in developing assistance programs that fit our communities’ needs.
According to HIT’s partner, the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio (COHHIO), collecting data on the numbers and characteristics of homeless individuals and families as well as homeless services capacity can serve additional purposes over and beyond meeting HUD requirements. Accurate counts offer several benefits including:
Providing support for local planning efforts by identifying unmet needs and trends in size and characteristics of homeless populations.
Supplying guidance for development of more effective programming and services.
Raising awareness of homelessness.
Enhancing local homeless programs’ volunteer base.
Assisting with allocation of resources around local priorities.
Targeting interventions for certain homeless sub-populations.
Opportunity to conduct community outreach, engagement, screening, and triage to identify people experiencing homelessness in need of services.
Identifying community goals.
Assisting in measuring progress toward homelessness reduction goals.
Typically, this count is completed in conjunction with local law enforcement, volunteers and partner organizations. However, due to the current pandemic communities in Ohio were told not to use volunteers to conduct street homeless counts. This does not mean the HIT Foundation would not count a street homeless individual that we know of.
Predominantly, Home is the Foundation was tasked with collecting and reporting the homeless in Preble County using current information from our emergency homeless shelter, domestic violence homeless shelter, those staying in transitional housing and those temporarily residing in a hotel due to a current housing crisis.
According to Jennifer Weathington, the initial results of the 2020 annual Point in Time Count show 38 people in Preble County without a permanent place to call home. In total, this number is similar to years past. This year, everyone that was counted was sheltered, which is good news! However, if you or someone you know is sleeping on the streets or an otherwise unsafe place do not hesitate to refer that person to the HIT Foundation for assistance. You can also call us at 937-472-0500.