On the evening of January 26th, Hamlin 8th graders Sophie and Mikayla joined a record number 768 volunteers as part of San Francisco’s 2017 Point-In-Time Homeless Count. The last homeless count in San Francisco was completed in 2015 and tallied 6,686 people living on the streets. Results from this year are expected to be slightly higher and will be made public in the coming weeks.
Point-In-Time Counts are unduplicated 1-night estimates of both sheltered and unsheltered homeless populations. The 1-night counts are conducted by Continuums of Care nationwide and occur during the last week in January of each year. The count helps us understand the issues and experience of homelessness and is meant to be a snapshot of homelessness on a single day. The Point in time Count is also required by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The information gathered in this count directly affects the amount of funds each community receives from the Federal Government.
San Francisco community members helping out with the count met in many locations throughout the city. Mikayla and Sophie were briefed at the Sunset location (the library of St. Ignatius High School), along with over 100 other people. Volunteers for the count then traveled by foot or car on 168 unique routes. Mikaya and Sophie were in charge of a route that led them through a section of the Richmond covering various blocks between Fulton and Geary. The girls kept their eyes peeled and recorded a total of three homeless people, writing down the perceived gender and an age estimate.
Mikaya shared her thoughts on the work:
“Counting homeless people is not as much direct action as other things that we have participated in, like volunteered with Lava Mae, but it was still very meaningful. The count is so important for big picture funding and ongoing support for individuals facing homelessness.”
For more information about the San Francisco Homeless Point-In-Time Count, please visit: http://dhsh.sfgov.org/2017-point-in-time-count/
Special thanks to Hamlin parents, Julie Benello and Becky Marcus-Woods who also helped out with the count.