A district-wide homelessness Point-in-Time (PiT) Count is taking place this week.
The District of Nipissing Social Services Administrative Board (DNSSAB) is coordinating the annual snapshot of what homelessness looks like in the district, along with a voluntary survey.
Mark King, DNSSAB Chair, says there are a lot of people mobilized for this with 47 locations, including eleven unsheltered and 36 agencies.
“You get a better handle on what’s actually happening,” says King. “This is something that has come out of our Community Wellness Plan, the number of agencies involved, the connections and trying to be more connected right across the region so you can really understand what’s taking place.”
A PiT Count is the enumeration over a 24-hour period of individuals experiencing homelessness and can be used to determine progress made towards ending homelessness.
DNSSAB is also working towards implementing a By-Name List (BNL) registry of all known people experiencing homelessness.
King says the Homeless Individuals and Families Information System (HIFIS) report will give them more information on transient traffic and where people are coming from.
“We’ve talked to the Solicitor General about the penal system and releasing people into communities,” he says. “My intent will be to go back to the province and, if in fact that is taking place, how we can encourage other regions to look after their own homeless people and not send them to other communities.”
DNSSAB says the By-Name List will allow agencies to better serve their clients based on their needs and helps to identify gaps in services and resources.
On Wednesday, individuals and families experiencing homelessness can visit any one of the participating locations to complete a survey and have their voices heard.
Two registry days will also take place following the count on Thursday, October 14 and Friday, October 15.