Volunteer at Homeless Camp

​​​​Information Will Be Used to Prepare for Annual Count of Homeless Population on Jan. 25

Virginia Beach Housing & Neighborhood Preservation is asking for the public’s help in identifying locations throughout the city where individuals have been observed living without shelter. The information will help guide staff during the street count of the 2024 Point-in-Time (PIT) Count of the homeless population. An online map tool at www.SpeakUpVB.com/2024VBPITCount can be used to submit locations from a mobile device or computer through Jan. 9.

Signs that an individual is living unsheltered include personal belongings left behind, a structure resembling a bed is present, individuals have been seen there on multiple occasions, etc. Location points should also include the date observed and additional details that will help describe the situation. The department is asking for visual observations only.

“The City has a Homeless Outreach Team that goes out into the community to find and engage people living in encampments and experiencing street homelessness. They meet individuals where they are to assess their needs and offer connections to our homeless service system for available shelter and resources,” said Pam Shine, Homeless Services administrator. “This tool enhances our efforts for the Point-in-Time Count to help ensure we are as thorough as possible and that all unsheltered individuals have the opportunity to be included in the count and assessed for services. It’s just one, but very important, way the community can be involved in helping us prevent and end homelessness in Virginia Beach.”

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires cities that receive federal funding for homeless programs to conduct the PIT Count. The count provides a snapshot of how many individuals were sheltered and unsheltered during one day in January and helps determine how much funding a community will receive for homeless programs and services. Each year, approximately $2 million is granted through the Continuum of Care to Virginia Beach agencies that provide housing and supportive services to the homeless. Demographic information and other data collected during the PIT Count are also important to understanding the scope of homelessness, revealing trends and identifying opportunities to better address the needs of the population.

To learn more about the PIT Count, visit www.VirginiaBeach.gov/PITCount . For assistance with the online tool, contact Stacey Leary, at (757) 385-5161 or sleary@vbgov.com . For more information about providing locations for the Homeless Outreach Team, contact Ann Griffin at (757) 385-5165.