TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The homeless population is something many people acknowledge in Tucson, either as a problem or a reality we face in our area. Many groups work to solve that by providing food, shelter, clothing, and career services.
An important part of how and in what capacity those services are provided is drawn from the Point in Time Count. The Point in Time Count, or PIT, happens once each year. Volunteers and varying organizations count the number of homeless people in shelters and on the streets. Those numbers are then analyzed and released.
The Tucson Pima Collaboration to end Homelessness is presenting the 2018 numbers to the community on Wednesday, June 20. Those numbers will help influence services offered to homeless people in Tucson and Pima County. TPCH will also be sharing what is being done to help the homeless in the area.
"Look at all the agencies that are there that are doing this work. Secondly, it's like 'Look at the difference we're making in our community by doing this work.' And hopefully it also brings potential donors or funders to see that you know we're making that dent but we still need that extra support," TPCH's Sasha Hawman says of why people should attend Wednesday's presentation.
TPCH representatives say the numbers from 2018, and the four years prior, indicate a decline in homelessness in the area. From 2013 to 2017 the total number of homeless people went down from 2,238 to 1,574. Along with that the number of homeless people in transitional housing went down nearly 50 percent from 2015 to 2017. The one category that has seen an increase is the number of homeless people seeking emergency shelter, from 2016 to 2017.
The Point in Time Count breaks down the numbers even further into categories like those who are chronically homeless and homeless veterans. It's categories like those that TPCH says they're looking closely at.
"We're definitely focusing on veteran homeless but now we're focusing on chronic homeless, youth homeless, and family homeless and what our strategic plans are to end that," Hawman says of their efforts.
TPCH's presentation of the numbers for 2018 begins at 3 p.m. at 2502 N. Dodge Boulevard. The presentation is open to the public.