WICHITA, Kan., Nov. 30, 2023 – The annual Point-In-Time Homeless Count is a national effort undertaken once a year by professionals and volunteers to estimate the number of Americans who don’t have safe and stable housing. As part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Grant requirements, the results are reported to that agency and studied for national trends. The count information is also used by Impact ICT Continuum of Care (CoC) to make local funding decisions, study trends, reach underserved persons, and increase awareness about those who don’t have stable housing.
Impact ICT CoC is the community coalition to end homelessness led by United Way of the Plains. More than 330 individuals and 21 organizations make up the coalition, which works to make homelessness rare, brief and non-recurring. In 2022, individuals experiencing homelessness were served 107,100 times by a coalition partner. 3,082 individuals were helped through transitional housing, street outreach and housing services. 1,168 individuals were housed or kept in housing.
Trained volunteers and members of Impact ICT CoC will conduct the 2024 Point-In-Time Homeless Count for the Wichita and Sedgwick County area on Thursday, Jan. 25, from 5 a.m. to noon. Cole Schnieders of United Way of the Plains is leading the 2024 data collection efforts. Schnieders says it’s imperative for the coalition to collect information, analyze it and share what they learn. “We’ll need 100 volunteers to complete this vital study. Every volunteer will be trained and paired with an experienced professional. Our goal is to collect data from those who are homeless in a caring and considerate manner. These data collection teams will be speaking with the homeless face-to-face and gathering information that will be used to get them into a safer and more stable environment.”
Those interested in volunteering can learn more on United Way’s volunteer website. Training will take place in early January, so volunteers are encouraged to sign up as soon as possible. The deadline to volunteer is Friday, Jan. 5, 2024. Anyone who sees someone who appears to be homeless on that day should share that information with United Way 211 Information and Referral Service to ensure they’re included in the count. Dial 2-1-1 or text 898-211 with this information.
The last Point-In-Time Homeless Count in Wichita-Sedgwick County was conducted on Jan. 26, 2023. Results showed a total number of 702 homeless persons in Wichita-Sedgwick County compared to 690 in 2022. A complete count was not conducted in 2021 due to various service disruptions caused by the pandemic. Check this link for more information about the latest count and to find helpful definitions. Visit the website to learn more about the work of Impact ICT – Continuum of Care (CoC). Reports about past counts conducted across the nation can be found on the HUD EXCHANGE website at hudexchange.info.
United Way of the Plains submits the annual HUD grant application and manages the yearly process for funding homeless services in Sedgwick County. The coalition was awarded a $2.8 million HUD grant in 2023. United Way also manages the shared database that is used for case conferencing to match clients with needed resources. Impact ICT is managed by Matt Lowe, Community Impact Manager for Basic Needs at United Way.
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United Way of the Plains is a nonprofit and for-impact organization that focuses on health, education, financial stability and basic needs – the building blocks for a good quality of life and a strong community. Our mission is to improve lives by harnessing the caring power of our community to advance the common good in south central Kansas. Follow us on these social media channels: Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok.