2019 Point-In-Time Homeless Count in Palm Beach County denotes increase in homelessness

The Palm Beach County Community Services Department announces the results of its annual Point-In-Time (PIT) count of homeless people in Palm Beach County.

Increase over 2018

During the 24-hour count held in January, the survey identified a total of 1,397 individuals as homeless. This is an increase of approximately 6 percent from 2018 but down 13 percent from 2017. The 2019 PIT count indicated a decrease of homelessness in the north region of the county and an increase in the south region.

This year, organizers used a new mobile app to conduct the PIT count, which streamlined the application process and reduced the amount of time needed to collect information from individuals experiencing homelessness. The improved technology along with having more volunteers to conduct surveys provided better coverage throughout the county.

According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, homelessness is defined as people who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence; individuals or families who will imminently lose their primary nighttime residence; families with children or youth who are unstably housed; or people fleeing or attempting to flee domestic violence or life-threatening situations related to violence.

More than 200 volunteers from the following agencies participated in the PIT count: Palm Beach County Community Services, Parks & Recreation and Youth Services departments, Veterans Affairs Administration, Palm Beach County School District, Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County, and United Way of Palm Beach County, as well as other nonprofit agencies, municipal employees and college students.

In addition, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and law enforcement officers from the cities of Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Rivera Beach and West Palm Beach provided assistance to the field outreach teams conducting the surveys in wooded areas, abandoned buildings, parks, and stationed places such as food pantries, soup kitchens and libraries.

Data collected from the Point-In-Time count helps pinpoint geographic zones where services are needed and will provide vital information when seeking funding to support homeless programs throughout Palm Beach County.

For additional information regarding the 2019 PIT count, please contact Wendy Tippett, director of Palm Beach County Human Services at (561) 355-4772.

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