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The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

NoCO CoC releases Point in Time Count, looks at trends

NoCO+CoC+releases+Point+in+Time+Count%2C+looks+at+trends

Collegian | Falyn Sebastian

Piper Russell, News Editor

The Northern Colorado Continuum of Care, which works to provide housing and services to homeless people in Larimer and Weld counties, took their annual Point in Time Count in late January.

According to the final report, the federally mandated PIT Count counts homeless people on one night within the last 10 days of January. The count includes individuals and families in shelters every year and counts unsheltered homeless individuals and families every other year. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was no unsheltered count in 2021.

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Alison Hade, community partnership administrator for the City of Loveland, said she usually has between 30-50 people involved in collecting data for the PIT Count.

Although the PIT Count is meant to represent the entire homeless population, the report states it is an underrepresentation because it is challenging to count all homeless individuals and families on a single given night.

“It isn’t considered to be an accurate count because it’s one point in time, and it’s based on whether or not you actually physically see somebody,” Hade said.

“The 2022 PIT Count report noted some trends throughout the past years. According to the report, since 2020, the sheltered homeless population decreased by 10.5%. However, the unsheltered homeless population increased by 44.4% since 2020.”

David Rout, executive director of Homeward Alliance, also spoke about how the PIT Count is not a completely accurate count because in some situations, like if a homeless person stays in a hotel or hospital for the night or is in jail, some people can’t be counted.

“There’s all sorts of qualifying things that make it a pretty significant undercount,” Rout said. “In addition, it’s a really rigid definition.”

The sheltered count includes individuals and families “living in a supervised, publicly or privately operated shelter designated to provide temporary living arrangement,” according to the report. The unsheltered count covers individuals or families “with a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.” Examples of these places are cars, parks, abandoned buildings, bus or train stations, airports or camping grounds.

“I think it’s noteworthy when a community is either flat or is reducing homelessness because it shows that we have a system in place that can, relatively speaking, keep pace with the inflow of people into homelessness.” -David Rout, executive director of Homeward Alliance

As well as simply counting the homeless population, the NoCO CoC gathers demographic data. The PIT Count includes information on race, ethnicity, age, gender and veteran status.

The 2022 PIT Count report noted some trends throughout the past years. According to the report, since 2020, the sheltered homeless population decreased by 10.5%. However, the unsheltered homeless population increased by 44.4% since 2020.

In relation to the demographic information that is collected, the report states that between 2020 and 2022, the number of Black/African American- and Hispanic-identifying people who are homeless increased, while the number of white-identifying people experiencing homelessness decreased.

According to the report, Fort Collins had the largest percentage, in comparison to Greeley and Loveland, of sheltered homeless people. Regarding that difference, Hade spoke about how since Loveland doesn’t have a stand-alone shelter building, it hasn’t been able to shelter as many people as Fort Collins and Greeley.

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Fort Collins has more emergency shelter programs than Greeley and Loveland, and the report states this is most likely the reason why Fort Collins counted more sheltered homeless people.

“I think it’s noteworthy when a community is either flat or is reducing homelessness because it shows that we have a system in place that can, relatively speaking, keep pace with the inflow of people into homelessness,” Rout said.

Reach Piper Russell at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @PiperRussell10.

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About the Writer
Photo of Piper Russell
Piper Russell, News Editor

Piper Russell is one of The Collegian’s news editors this year and is thrilled to be working in the role. She started as a news reporter her sophomore...

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