Volunteers needed to count homeless

COLUMBIA – The homeless, both sheltered and unsheltered, in Fairfield and Richland Counties are going to be counted Jan. 22-28 through effort by the Midlands Area Consortium for the Homeless (MACH) and with the help of local volunteers.

The event is called the Point-in-Time (PIT) count. The purpose of the count is to better understand homelessness and housing needs in the two counties, according to a prepared statement from United Way of the Midlands

Any programs, agencies or faith-based organizations that provide services for people experiencing homelessness in Fairfield County are asked to contact Greg Sprouse at [email protected] or 803.744.5158 so their clientele can be included in the Count.

Anyone wishing to volunteer to help with the PIT count in Fairfield County can also contact Sprouse.

PIT Count volunteers will: search for unsheltered homeless within designated locations; survey individuals experiencing homelessness and provide individuals who have been surveyed with kits to include winter clothing items, toiletries and non-perishable food items.

“Over the past five years, the Point-in-Time Count has shown an overall decrease of 45 percent in Richland County,” said Sara Fawcett, President and CEO of United Way of the Midlands. “The annual count is necessary for us to truly understand the gaps in services and housing, so we can continue to reduce the number of people experiencing homelessness in our community.”

Learn more about volunteer opportunities with PIT and register to volunteer by visiting https://www.midlandshomeless.com/2020-point-in-time-count.