City of Oakland Seeks 400+ Volunteers for Point in Time Homeless Count on January 25

To date, 230+ volunteers have signed up for the annual effort

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The City of Oakland, in partnership with Alameda County, invites residents to participate in the annual Point in Time (PIT) count on Thursday, January 25, 2024. The City is seeking 400+ volunteers to ensure a comprehensive and meaningful count that will help us understand the scale of homelessness in our community. As of today, more than 230 volunteers have signed up to join the effort.

“The annual Point in Time Homeless Count is a critical opportunity for us to understand the magnitude of homelessness in Oakland. As Oakland’s Mayor, I urge every resident to participate and be part of the solution,” said Mayor Sheng Thao. “The annual Point in Time count enables us to better allocate resources and implement effective programs to tackle this issue head-on. Together, as One Oakland, we can create a compassionate and inclusive Oakland where no one is left behind.”

The Point in Time count is an annual census of our neighbors experiencing homelessness. The count includes individuals and families sleeping outside, in vehicles, in emergency shelters, and transitional housing. PIT provides a snapshot of homelessness on a single night in Alameda County.

This year the PIT count methodology has changed. In a method called geographic sampling and enumeration, volunteer resources will be sent to known locations where people are experiencing homelessness as well as to a random sample of other areas. Volunteers will be encouraged to complete survey questionnaires with individuals experiencing homelessness. This more accurate method relies less on statistical extrapolation and assumptions, as in years past, and requires a higher number of volunteers.

"The Point in Time Homeless Count is not just a statistic; it's a powerful compass guiding us towards awareness, compassion, and real solutions," said LaTonda Simmons, Assistant City Administrator. "We are grateful to the community for stepping up to assist in this important effort."

Volunteer participation is key to the success of the PIT count. Volunteers help in surveying, data collection, and engagement with the homeless community. Volunteers will be requested to work in shifts between the hours of 5:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. and will be asked to download a mobile app called Counting Us. Prior to the count, volunteers will receive training on how to properly survey individuals, best practices, and safety measures.

Why is PIT Important to Cities and Counties?

  • Allocates Resources: It helps determine the allocation of funding and resources for homeless services for local, county, state & federal agencies.
  • Informs Policy: PIT count data is vital in shaping effective homelessness policies and programs.
  • Raises Awareness: The count increases community awareness about the challenges faced by people experiencing homelessness

Data from the PIT count is used to:

  • Guide Decisions: Inform local government and non-profits in developing strategies to address homelessness.
  • Support Services: Enhance the capacity and quality of services provided to the homeless population.
  • Track Progress: Measure the changes of the homelessness population and the effectiveness of current interventions and identify areas for improvement.

We Need You:

  • Individuals: Bring your compassion and commitment to make a difference.
  • Private Sector: Show your corporate social responsibility by encouraging employee participation.
  • Community Organizations: Collaborate with us to strengthen our community's response to homelessness.

SIGN-UP TO VOLUNTEER HERE: Make sure to select "OAKLAND" for your service location.


Jean Walsh
Public Information Officer


Posted: January 4th, 2024 12:43 PM

Last Updated: January 9th, 2024 4:56 PM

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