The purpose of #WeAllCount is to collect data on the needs of people experiencing homelessness in our community. The count also provides an excellent opportunity to increase awareness of homelessness and to spark action.
The 2020 #WeAllCount
The San Diego Point-in-Time Count, known as “We All Count” began at 4am on the morning of January 23, 2020 for the majority of San Diego County’s deployment sites. Volunteers and outreach workers across the county focused on engaging and surveying those experiencing homelessness where they are at. The count continued to use the methodology to meet HUD requirements following their guidance and clear directive. Volunteers continued to count people experiencing homelessness and not vehicles or structures.
For 2020 the RTFH continued to use the updated methodology strengthening approach and count all individuals that spent the night in conditions considered unsheltered. This can be park benches, sidewalks, tents, vehicles and RV’s. We also continued to survey our sheltered homeless populations by collaborating with our community partners and outside agencies. The method continues to allow outreach to directly engage with San Diego’s homeless population, as ending homelessness begins with one person at a time. Our Point-in-Time Count includes conducting as many surveys as possible with anyone who is encountered that is unsheltered. This year we used the Counting Us App. The Counting Us App has a Geographical Information System (GIS) which is a framework for gathering, managing and analyzing data in real-time. We intend to create a By-Name-List where we can more accurately identify those whom are experiencing homelessness and how we can best serve them.
Homelessness is a complicated and complex issue, and the efforts to collect information from those experiencing homelessness through one on one conversations provides real actionable information needed to understand how to better set policies, direct funding, and inform the community. The effort involved with volunteers engaging with homeless individuals living in vehicles and tents has impacted our count more than any other change in methodology. From this, we can better understand the number of homeless individuals and families on any given night in San Diego County. As we know behind each number and survey, there is a life and story to be told. Volunteer efforts help bring these stories to light and truly make a difference in our mission to end homelessness in our community.
WeAllCount is truly a regional effort. There are a number of roles that must be filled in order to successfully conduct and complete this required activity.
Engaged Counters – Engaged counters literally walk the streets to survey the homeless they see. Counters self-select a census tract area to survey and are deployed in teams lead by a professional outreach worker from a specific count site during the morning of WeAllCount. For more detailed information, download flyer.
Shelter Interviewers – Shelter interviewers will interview homeless individuals who slept unsheltered during the night of WeAllCount in different shelters around the region. For more detailed information, download flyer.
Communications – Spreading the word about WeAllCount is critical. It is how we find volunteers to help conduct the count as well as alert homeless persons to the event as well.
Donations – The PITC is an unfunded federal mandate and requires a significant amount of resources to complete. If you are unable to physically participate in one of the roles above, or would like to help in addition to volunteering, please consider making a donation to support this important regional effort. To make a donation, click here.
The Counting Us App has been helping other regions conduct the annual HUD homeless count. With the ability to customize the questions to suit San Diego County we can gather the information that we need about people experiencing homelessness in real time.
This year The Regional Task Force on the Homeless is excited be using the Counting Us App. The Counting Us App was designed by Simtech Solutions. It is a monitoring and evaluation tool developed with the primary purpose of supporting communities with the annual Point in Time (PIT) homeless census.