Rural Homelessness Counts

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Audio | September 17, 2008

Since 2003, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Continuum of Care (CoC) Application has required communities to do point-in-time counts of the people who are homeless (sheltered and unsheltered) every two years in the last week of January. The next count will be held in January 2009. Communities have, over time, developed strategies to improve data quality to get more accurate counts, and they have also attempted to get more substantive data to inform their larger planning efforts to end homelessness. Rural communities encounter unique challenges in planning and implementing point-in-time counts, particularly with regard to the unsheltered portion of the count. In an effort to help rural communities improve the data gleaned from the upcoming count, this audio conference will explore specific challenges to rural point-in-time counts, including geography, transportation, inclement weather, resources, outreach training, data and statistical capacity, as well as other obstacles unique to rural communities. This audio conference offered practical strategies and lessons learned from both local and national perspectives.