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Roanoke, VA – The Blue Ridge Interagency Advisory Council on Homelessness (BRICH), comprised of representatives from jurisdictions and agencies across the Roanoke Valley, will coordinate the annual point-in-time (PIT) count on Jan. 24-25. The point-in-time count is a statistically reliable, unduplicated count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless individuals and families in the area served by the BRICH. This survey is conducted by all jurisdictions in the Commonwealth of Virginia to provide both baseline data on the number of homeless individuals living in communities and basic demographic information about the homeless population.
Data collected during the PIT count is critical to effective planning and performance management toward the goal of ending homelessness for each community and for the nation as a whole. Counting those who are unsheltered ensures that many of the people with the highest needs are prioritized for services in community strategic planning initiatives.
This initiative workes with local communities to identify the most medically at-risk people experiencing homelessness by compiling information using a tool called the “Vulnerability Index.” Jefferson College of Health Science Physician Assistant students, along with staff from the Salem Veterans Affairs Medical Center, will be interviewing the unsheltered homeless using the “Vulnerability Index.”
The hope is that we continue to see a decline in the number of individuals and families facing homelessness as we did in the 2017 PIT count.
For further information, contact Paula Prince, assistant professor of sociology at the Jefferson College of Health Sciences, at (540) 985-8380 or email her at PLPrince@jchs.edu.