It's called a Point-In-Time count and representes a one-night count of homeless persons, and this year, Idaho chose the evening of Wednesday, January 28, to count those individuals considered homeless—sheltered and unsheltered. For the record, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, an unsheltered homeless person resides in a place not meant for human habitation (i.e. a vehicle or the street). Included in that count are temporary tents and/or warming centers. A sheltered homeless person resides in an emergency shelter, transitional housing or supportive housing for homeless persons.
This year, Idaho's PIT was 1,966 and while the state overall count decreased 6.5 percent from last year, the shelter population (1,497) was the highest level since 2011 (1,585).
In Ada County, the PIT homeless count was 755 (674 sheltered and 81 unsheltered), representing 38.4 percent of the state's homeless. Analysts say the rise in unsheltered individuals, the highest rate since 2011, could be attributed in part to a record low rental vacancy rate in Ada County, something chronicled in a recent Boise Weekly
article (BW, News, "Too Much Need, Not Nearly Enough Rentals," May 20, 2015.