2019 Count Shows Most Accurate Reflection of Area Homelessness

2019 Count Shows Most Accurate Reflection of Area Homelessness

April 18, 2019
Better volunteer training credited with higher numbers in homeless count
The Fulton County Department of Community Development today announced the results of its January 29, 2019 Point-in-Time (PIT) Count of people experiencing homelessness. After two years of decreases in the annual count, the 2019 count reported 632 homeless individuals. The total count represented a 185% increase from the 2018 count of 222 people.

Fulton County Deputy Chief Operating Officer Pamela Roshell, PhD credits the significantly higher count to more intensive volunteer training. “We are committed to an accurate count of those experiencing homelessness in order to provide the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) with appropriate data for the congressionally-mandated Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress,” said Dr. Roshell. “The PIT count serves as a tool to determine the effectiveness of HUD’s programs and policies in decreasing the numbers of homeless citizens throughout the nation.”

Fulton County is committed to supporting its most vulnerable citizens through multiple programs offered by the County, which includes the Community Services Program (CSP) contracts for services. The 2019 CSP awarded ___ contracts totaling $____ to human services organizations to provide support for identifying affordable housing, rent and utility assistance, employment training, career development assistance and other programs to provide more economic stability to youth, adults and families.

The PIT Count includes people residing in emergency shelters, transitional housing and living without shelter outside the City of Atlanta. The Count relies on volunteer survey takers who visit encampments and other known areas where people experiencing homelessness congregate.

Although the 2019 count resulted in a significantly higher number of homeless individuals and families, Fulton County believes the count reflects a fraction of the homeless population. While an imperfect measure, the PIT Count is one of the tools used to determine priorities for federal, state and local funding, and it helps identify trends and the development of solutions for addressing the needs of vulnerable individuals and families.

To respond to the many needs surrounding homelessness, Fulton County’s Continuum of Care commissioned the development of a (5) five year Strategic Plan in 2018 through ________ in an effort to identify the gaps with affordable housing and the delivery of services for the homeless. The plan will be available to the public for review once it is complete.

For more information, contact Dawn Butler, Division Manager for the Department of Community Development at 404-612-0746.