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Feb 04

Pensacola Housing at the Third Annual U-Count Homeless Services Day

Posted on February 4, 2015 at 10:18 am by Dawn Corrigan

On January 29, 2015, Pensacola Housing participated in the third annual U-Count Homeless Services Day, sponsored by EscaRosa Coalition on the Homeless (ECOH). Services Day was scheduled to coincide with the end of the annual Point-in-Time (PIT) Homeless Survey, which was conducted over a 24-hour period beginning at 8 am on Wednesday, January 28.U Count Table 2

A point-in-time count is an unduplicated count on a single night of all the people in a community who are experiencing homelessness. Both sheltered and unsheltered populations are counted. The National Alliance to End Homelessness explains that point-in-time counts are important “because they establish the dimensions of the problem of homelessness and help policymakers and program administrators track progress toward the goal of ending homelessness.” Biennial point-in-time counts are required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for communities receiving federal funds from the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program. In practice, this means virtually every community in the country must perform point-in-time counts at least every other year. Many communities, including the Pensacola metropolitan area, choose to conduct them annually.

The U-Count Homeless Services Day is a “one-day, one stop” opportunity for individuals and families experiencing homelessness to access benefits, medical care, substance abuse resources, mental health counseling, and a variety of social services. ECOH reports that this year, 34 service providers and over 100 volunteers served more than 250 homeless members of our community. Clients had the opportunity to receive free haircuts and chair massages, and gain information about the VA, transportation, housing, legal, dental, and counseling services available to them in our area.

An invaluable benefit offered to the clients was the health screenings and immunizations provided by Escambia Community Clinic, FL Department of Health Escambia, and FL Department of Health Santa Rosa. And many attendees were eager for leads about available work opportunities.

Pensacola Housing staff members Donna Cash, Dawn Corrigan, Nicole Louie, Marsha Bazinet and Christen Woods attended Homeless Services Day. They answered client questions about the City of Pensacola’s rental assistance programs and distributed water bottles donated by Neighborhood Services, as well as fresh fruit.