Hello Everyone!

As you may know, Maine’s 2022 Point-in-Time (PIT) Count is taking place on the night of January 25, 2022, with Service Based follow-up days collecting data on the 26th, 27th, and 28th.  For those of you who may not be familiar with the Point-in-Time, it is an attempt to count and collect some basic information about everyone who is experiencing homelessness on one night of the year.

The most challenging part of the Point-in-Time Count is connecting with those who are Unsheltered on that night. These might be people in ‘encampments’, sleeping in tents, in their cars, in abandoned buildings, or literally on the streets. We need volunteers from local service providers throughout the state to help us organize teams to conduct PIT surveys on the night of the count, and at Service Based locations in the days following. While we realize that the 9 Service Hubs, created as part of Maine’s Homeless System Redesign, are not yet fully developed, we hope that the stakeholders identified within each Hub will take this opportunity to begin working together now, and pull in other organizations in their communities, to help us with the Unsheltered PIT Count in your area. Please share this information both within your agency and with others in your community to help raise awareness of the PIT Count, and how people can help!

Most Emergency Shelters and Housing Projects designated for serving people who are or were homeless participate in Maine’s Homeless Management Information System (HMIS). For them, the PIT count is simply a matter of making sure the data they submit is as current and accurate as possible for the night of the count.

For projects that do not participate in HMIS, and for the Unsheltered portion of the count, we rely on volunteers talking with people experiencing homelessness and filling out paper Survey Forms. These will be distributed to identified point people, “PIT Crew” Leaders, either by mail, or electronically if you are able to print them locally. There are also instructions and Training Videos – everyone who will be helping to conduct the Unsheltered Count will be required to watch the Training Videos – there is a lot you need to know, not just about the forms, but about keeping yourself, and those you will be interviewing, safe.

While the focus is on that one night, there is a good deal of preparation that must be done ahead of time: determining where unsheltered people might be found; organizing teams to conduct surveys on the night of the count; collecting and distributing any information or materials you plan to make available to those who are counted; establishing locations where the Service Based portion of the count will take place and who will provide coverage there; and generally raising awareness of the Point-in-Time, and homelessness in general, in your communities through local newspapers, flyers, discussions at meeting, agency websites, etc.

Please let us know if you and/or your agency are interested in helping with the Unsheltered Point-in-Time Count so we can add you to our contact list. In your message, please include which Hub, County, or Towns your agency can help cover. And please start talking with other stakeholders in your area and begin planning together – it would be very helpful if each Service Hub and/or County could identify just one or two Primary Contacts who would then share information with others locally. We can be reached at . More information will be posted on this site as it becomes available.

We look forward to hearing from you! Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or suggestions about who else should have this information!