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City Leaders Looking for Volunteers to Count Boise's Homeless

by

PATRICK SWEENEY
  • Patrick Sweeney


The city of Boise is looking for volunteers to help with a four-day survey of the city's homeless population.

Approximately 100 volunteers are needed to complete the Point in Time (PIT) count, scheduled for Thursday-Sunday, Jan. 28-31. The PIT count is used by federal agencies for assessing funding for homelessness programs across Ada County, including the Boise/Ada County Continuum of Care, which provides housing, supplies, drug treatment and mental health services to economically displaced citizens. 

PIT volunteers must undergo training that includes survey and safety guidelines. Training takes place Wednesday, Jan. 20, at city council chambers at Meridian City Hall. According to Mayor Dave Bieter's spokesman Mike Journee, it's a chance for the community to become involved—and a glimpse into the issue for city leaders.

"It's a snapshot of homelessness that we don't get otherwise," Journee said. 

The PIT count comes months after the controversial removal of campers from Cooper Court. While Journee wouldn't comment on how the city's role in clearing the encampment might affect the PIT count, he did say local shelters still have available space, and police have not noticed an increase in the number of homeless people.

"It really hasn't changed the scenario as far as we've heard," Journee said, adding that the city expects to unveil a permanent supportive housing program—"Housing First"—in the first quarter of 2016.

For more information or to volunteer, contact Stephanie Bloom at bloom@cityofboise.org or at 208-570-6845.