Broward County seeks volunteers for 2015 Homeless Count
From Michael R. Wright, Administrator
BROWARD COUNTY, FL – The Broward County Homeless Initiative Partnership, in collaboration with the Broward Regional Health Planning Council, Inc., Broward Sheriff’s Office, 2-1-1, Nova Southeastern University and Hands on Broward, is seeking 200 volunteers to assist the Homeless Continuum of Care with the collection of data for the 2015 Homeless Point-In-Time (PIT) Count Survey and Zero 2016 Registry Week on Monday night, Jan. 26, through Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015.
The Zero 2016 Registry is designed to create a registry of homeless people in Broward County and line up a supply of housing and service resources to help them end their homelessness.
All volunteers are required to attend a mandatory orientation session. The orientation will cover the new and extended survey tool, training, safety, and coordination procedures and regulations. Three orientation dates, held at various locations across the County on the evenings of Jan. 13 – 15, 2015 are available to facilitate volunteer schedules. Volunteers will sign up for their specific count location and shift time upon completion of the orientation. Volunteers can contact Sander Schrantz at Sander@handsonbroward.org for additional information.
According to Michael R. Wright, administrator of the Broward County Homeless Initiative Partnership, the County is charged with counting every homeless person and asking them to complete a survey. The count is used to substantiate need for all federal and state grants. “An accurate count helps Broward County get needed resources to help persons experiencing homelessness in Bro-ward,” Wright said.
The survey is used to provide up-to-date information about the needs of persons experiencing homelessness and is an opportunity for the community to engage in efforts to end homelessness and learn about the Homeless Continuum of Care. The Homeless Continuum of Care is a network of organizations, advocates, residents and businesses that plan programs to implement a full range of emergency, transitional and permanent housing, along with prevention and other services to help alleviate homelessness in Broward County. The County’s goal is to end veteran homelessness by 2015, chronic homelessness by 2016, and family and youth homelessness by 2020.
Shira Fowlkes, MPH, Point-In-Time coordinator, said there are minimal requirements to volunteer, but having concern and compassion for persons experiencing homelessness and the desire to help are good characteristics. Volunteers will primarily assist with the “Unsheltered Count / 100,000 Homes Registration” and should have their own transportation and be comfortable walking and interacting with persons living on the streets. Other volunteers may assist in other areas of the Point-In-Time Count. “All volunteers will assist alongside of veteran workers who can answer questions and provide guidance,” Fowlkes said.
About Homeless Initiative Partnership
The Homeless Initiative Partnership (HIP), a section within the Community Partnerships Division of the Broward County Human Services Department, plans and coordinates services for homeless persons, and serves as liaison to the Homeless Initiative Partnership Advisory Board, which acts as agent for the Board of County Commissioners in the development and implementation of homeless assistance programs. HIP is also the lead agency for the County’s Homeless Continuum of Care, a network of organizations, advocates, residents and businesses that plan programs to help alleviate homelessness in Broward County. The goal is to end veteran homelessness by 2015, chronic homelessness by 2016, and family and youth homelessness by 2020. For more information, call (954) 357-6101 or visit Homeless Services.