St. Stephen’s Human Services, in partnership with Hennepin County, partner agencies, and nearly one hundred staff and volunteers, conducts a biannual Point-In-Time (PIT) Count of people experiencing homelessness. Every two years, the January count is mandated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and includes sheltered and unsheltered households. We normally elect to add to community knowledge of trends with a July count of those who are unsheltered, too. Due to the ongoing pandemic, Hennepin County has requested and received approval from HUD to not conduct the January 2021 PIT Count. St. Stephen's supports this decision because while we know an accurate PIT Count number is important, we also believe the safety of our participants is paramount. Completing an in-person PIT Count is not feasible at this time. Plus, completing a partial or inaccurate count has the potential to do more harm than good based on the gravity these numbers carry in our communities, particularly as they pertain to policy development.
Throughout the pandemic, St. Stephen’s has continued to be a committed provider of Street Outreach services to those who are unsheltered in our community. We are planning what the future PIT Counts will look like and hope you will join us in those efforts. While we are not able to predict how the variety of factors including the economy, eviction moratorium, and potential funding opportunities will impact our work, we know our Street Outreach team will be up for the challenge and will do everything we can to ensure safe indoor spaces for those we serve. Thank you for your continued support and partnership.