Greensboro Point in Time Count Helps the Homeless

On January 30, HUD Greensboro Field Office staff partnered with two local organizations, Partners Ending Homelessness and AmeriCorps, to conduct a Point-in-Time (PIT) count in the City of Greensboro. This count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons on a single night in January reveals the number of homeless persons in local shelters and on the streets at a single point-in-time. Each count is planned, coordinated, and carried out locally.

"The more people I interviewed, the more I asked the question: why are there so many homeless people in this nation of such tremendous wealth? This is a question that should ruminate in the minds of all Americans. Ending homelessness should be a priority. Everyone should have a safe, decent and sanitary place to live," said Richard Baker (HUD/PIH). Hopefully these experiences conveyed that there was someone who cared and who would work with other organizations and governments to meet their simplest need.

During the event, volunteers conducted interviews with homeless persons seeking assistance at the Greensboro Interactive Resource Center, a place where those who are homeless can go and not feel alone. PIT volunteers collected information that included initials, sex, ethnicity and housing status of the homeless persons.

Volunteers talked with a myriad of people of different backgrounds, conditions and statuses, including:

  • a single mother family of four with a youngest child of twelve weeks old and an oldest child of seven years old;
  • a gentlemen in his late thirties who has been homeless for 18 years due to past drug addiction and HIV/AIDS status;
  • a 40 year woman from Michigan who became homeless as a result of domestic violence and depression;
  • a woman in her late fifties who was homeless due to job loss;
  • a husband and wife who became homeless because of job loss and had to sacrifice living without their children so that the children would not experience homelessness; and
  • a middle aged gentleman who was homeless because of his job loss and lack of resources to manage his mental illness.

Richard Baker, HUD/PIH considered the PIT experience to be a moving one that underscored HUD's mission. Baker added, "This experience was a great opportunity for me to get back to HUD's mission and have direct contact with some of the people we are pledged to serve. It was an enriching and humbling experience that left an indelible mark on me. As we surveyed and interacted with the homeless, I was reminded of how fortunate I am. Some of them shared stories similar to my own and implied that every person is one bad decision away from being in the wrong place."

A total of 4 HUD staff members, Malik Shamal of Field Policy and Management, Richard Baker of the Office of Public and Indian Housing, Public Housing, Raymond (Ty) Littles and Mia Releford of the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, participated in the 2013 PIT count.

To learn more about ending homelessness please go to: Homeless Assistance on HUD's website.


Content Archived: October 2, 2014