In the midst of New York City’s blizzard emergency, of course the city’s Homeless Outreach Population Estimate (HOPE) Count, scheduled for from about midnight until 4 a.m. on Tuesday, January 27, is postponed. Care for the Homeless and our dozen volunteer staff and client leaders signed up to participate will plan to take part in the reschedule HOPE Count when that takes place.
The HOPE count is part of the national HUD point-in-time count of homelessness in the U.S. In fact, the point in time count originated in New York City in the 1990s and has taken place citywide on one night in January continuously since 1995. It’s an important research and policy tool that Care for the Homeless supports and takes part in.
In the meantime, the severe weather that challenges us all is another stark reminder of the need to prevent, ameliorate and work to end homelessness. Last year’s HOPE count indicated at least 3,357 homeless people were living unsheltered on the streets or in public places in New York City. That, of course, is in addition to the more than 58,000 people sleeping tonight in Department of Homeless Services shelters (the official DHS shelter census for Thursday, January 22, was 58,655 including 24,944 children – but with the snow and bitter cold it will undoubtedly be higher tonight), and the thousands more in non-DHS shelters.