Important Work to End Homelessness

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Point in Time

Volunteers are needed for the Point In Time Count on January 27.

Contributor: Nanci Micke, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at United Way Fox Cities

It is the time of year that the bi-annual Point In Time Count will be done in the Fox Cities. If you have ever wondered how you can help with the issue of homelessness in our community, the Point In Time Count offers that opportunity.

On the evening of January 27, volunteers will comb streets, parks, parking lots, ramps, and wooded areas searching for people who need help with shelter. This year the count will offer two shifts: 10:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m., or 1:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m.

Volunteering for this event is a moving experience – one that takes the reality of homelessness in our community to a new level of understanding. Homeless Connections and the Housing Partnership of the Fox Cities do the planning and scheduling for the event. They make sure that new volunteers are paired up with seasoned veterans. An informational training is provided before the event, and all the details are discussed including dressing for the weather, bringing a flashlight, and wearing comfortable footwear.

On the evening of the Count volunteers gather at the Housing Partnership, where Chris Lashock, Client Services Coordinator at Homeless Connections welcomes the volunteers and reminds us of the importance of the evening. Volunteers are checked in, teams assembled, communication instructions given, and then teams head off to their assigned locations.

This is important work. In order to provide the most effective services to end homelessness we must understand the trends and know what homelessness looks like in our community. Volunteers are still needed for the Count, especially for the 1:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. shift.  To volunteer, contact Chris Lashock.