3 Tips to Conducting a Successful Pit Count

ByGrassroots Unwired

3 Tips to Conducting a Successful Pit Count

According to HUD Exchange, “The Point-in-Time (PIT) count is a count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons on a single night in January. HUD requires that Continuums of Care (CoCs) conduct an annual count of homeless persons who are sheltered in emergency shelter, transitional housing, and Safe Havens on a single night.”

This year we’ve partnered with 5 unique organizations to conduct their 2020 Point-in-Time counts, from which we have come up with these 3 tips for conducting a successful count:

Surveys: Keep your surveys simple and straight to the point. It is likely going to be a cold night and you and your volunteers are hoping to survey as many individuals as possible. Figure out what data you need to collect and keep your survey trimmed down to collect that data. HUD model survey templates are thorough, in-depth and a great place to start gathering some examples of questions and answers.

Volunteers: A Point-in-Time count cannot succeed without wonderful volunteers, recruit them early! Make all the details about your count known; list the dates and times of the count and the pre-count training under events on your website and share it out on social media. Be sure to have links for individuals to sign up as a volunteer.

Mobile Solutions: Trying to read other’s handwriting (that was written in the dark) and enter the information into a CRM can be tedious, not to mention frustrating. Ditch the clipboards, eliminate data entry and go mobile! Additional perks to going mobile:

  • Mobile devices provide the light needed to complete the survey in the dark and the questions are much easier for both the volunteer and participant to read and understand
  • Devices that are GPS enabled (like the ones provided by Grassroots Unwired) will make your volunteers feel more safe and allow headquarters to see where everyone is located at all times.
  • With the Grassroots Unwired platform: all of the data being collected the night of the count is going back to our servers in real-time, eliminating data entry completely and allowing you to quickly pull reports containing the data you need.
  • Last but not least, going mobile saves trees!

Additionally, checkout the PIT count work we’ve done in the past.

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