Counts are done twice each year to help address the problem

By Gail Peckler-Dziki

Lisa Haen is the associate director at Kenosha Human Development Services, Inc. and monitors the number of homeless people in Kenosha County, both east and west of I-94.

A Point in Time, or PIT, as it’s commonly called, count is done every year in January and July. A PIT count is a statistically reliable, unduplicated count of people experiencing homelessness during a designated one-night period.

These counts are intended to capture a minimum amount of information on the homeless population in order to create a snapshot of what homelessness looks like in a neighborhood, city or state.

The data collected through the PIT count is reported in the Annual Homelessness Assessment Report that is provided to the U.S. Congress. Homeless information is also reported to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and is utilized to develop the Housing Inventory Chart for the Balance of State Continuum of Care.

The counts are done between 9 p.m. and midnight and 3 and 9:30 a.m. Those considered for the count are the homeless or unsheltered, those in emergency shelters and those in transitional housing.

In July of 2011, there were 215 homeless people. There were 156 in January of 2012 and 219 in July of 2012.

In 2013, the January count was 185 and the July total count was 206. In 2014, the January count was 201 and in July the count was 224.

The January 2015 count was 141. In July, the count was 220. In 2016, the January count was 191 and July was 239.

In 2017, the January count was 189 and the July count was 236.

So far this year, the January count was 136. The July count will be out soon.

“Volunteers are an integral part of the Homeless Street Outreach Event,” Haen said. “More volunteers ensure greater count accuracy. Volunteers receive an orientation on safety, confidentiality, how to approach people on the streets, documentation, and where to search in assigned areas prior to the count.”

There have been between 20 and 30 volunteers to conduct the count. The more volunteers, the more accurate the count, officials said. To volunteer to help with the counts, call Veronica at 262-764-8555 or visit and leave information, including an email address.

Volunteers are assigned to groups led by an experienced PIT group leader. The groups distribute care packages and information and referrals, conduct brief interviews and document observations.

The counts also keep track of those in transitional housing and rapid rehousing. Rapid rehousing is a program designed to help individuals and families exit homelessness as quickly as possible, move to permanent housing and achieve stability in that housing.

This assistance is offered without condition, such as employment, income, and absence of criminal record or sobriety.

Resources and services are tailored to each family’s needs. The program helps families find, secure and move into housing.

Short or medium term rental and moving assistance is provided as well as case management and housing stabilization services.


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