At the end of the month, volunteers from Tooele County will scour the community looking for homeless people.
It’s the annual Point in Time Count required by the Department of Housing and Urban Development so the county can continue to receive state and federal funds to help with assistance for people and families that are homeless.
HUD requires that the count take place on the same days statewide.
This year the Point in Time Count will primarily take place on January 28, 29, and 30, according to Brad Gillies, who represents the Tooele County Health Department on the Tooele County Local Homeless Coordinating Council.
This year’s annual count has some modifications due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
There will no longer be a 20-25 list of questions on the survey, instead volunteer surveyors will only ask for name, age, and a location where the individual spent the night of Jan. 27, according to Gillies.
Other changes include more time to complete and turn in the count, the count will no longer need to be done in early morning hours, and the count can be done during the day at places that provide services to homeless people.
Also, due to the current COVID-19 situation there will be no in-person training nor kick-off meeting. Nor will the volunteers meet as a group prior to starting a daily count.
The Homeless Council will use other methods to get information out to their volunteers, Gillies said.
The Homeless Council is looking for volunteers to help with the count in a couple of ways. Volunteers may take a shift or two surveying at locations that provide services for homeless people or in places they frequent, like the Tooele County Community Resource Center.
The Homeless Council also wants to do some street surveys. Volunteers wanting to participate this way will have access to surveys that they can conduct on their own, any time during the designated period, keeping in mind that all safety precautions would need to be followed, Gillies said.
Homeless people, according to HUD guidelines, include people sleeping in a sheltered facility and those sleeping in places not fit for human habitation, including out-of-doors, in vehicles, campers or trailers without utilities, and in abandoned buildings.
People with additional questions or that are interested in volunteering can contact Gillies at 435-277-2463 or 435-840-0229 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Carol Mortenson at 801-688-5331 or email@example.com.