What is the PIT Count?

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires Continuums of Care (CoCs) across the nation to conduct a Point-in-Time (PIT) Count of people experiencing homelessness on a single night in January every other year.

The City of Philadelphia choses to conduct a PIT Count annually to better understand homelessness in our communities. By estimating the size of the population experiencing homelessness, we can determine the need for housing and supportive services.

HUD requires that CoCs conduct an annual count of people experiencing homelessness who are sheltered in emergency shelter, transitional housing, and safe havens on a single night. CoC must also conduct a count of unsheltered people experiencing homelessness every other year (odd numbered years).

How will we count?

This year, the PIT Count will be split into two portions, the Overnight Count and a Youth Count. Both will include volunteers canvassing zones and hot spots throughout Philadelphia, to survey anyone unsheltered experiencing homelessness using tablets.

Volunteers must be willing and able to walk long distances for the duration of the Count. Organizers will provide mandatory virtual trainings to all volunteers in preparation for surveying and establish safety measures.

How will Philadelphia execute a safe PIT Count?

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of Homeless Services (OHS) will strive to protect all who participate. Based on federal and local health guidance, OHS is planning on implementing the following safety measures:

  • Encourage all participants who volunteer to be fully vaccinated and/or get a COVID-19 test 48 hours in advance of the Count.
  • Require all participants to sign a COVID-19 waiver the day of the Count.
  • Conduct temperature checks on all participants on the day of the Count.
  • Provide personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks, face shields, and hand sanitizer, to all volunteers on the day of the Count.

When will the 2023 PIT Count take place?

This year, the PIT Count will begin at 10 p.m. on the night of Wednesday, January 25 and will conclude on Thursday, January 26 at 6 p.m.

  • The Overnight PIT Count: Wednesday, January 25, 2023 from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.
  • The Youth PIT Count: Thursday, January 26, 2023 with two shift option, 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. or 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

If weather is particularly bad or dangerous that night, the PIT Count will be rescheduled for the following evening.

Who is involved in the PIT Count?

The PIT Count is a wonderful city-wide collaboration made possible by several stakeholders. From City agencies and non-profit organizations, to Philadelphia neighbors and volunteers with lived experience, we all work together to make the volunteer-based event a success.

Why are volunteers important?

The key to a successful PIT Count for any community is volunteers. So, whether it’s your first time getting involved or you’re a veteran PIT Count volunteer, we encourage you to join us! All Philadelphians are welcome!

How can I volunteer?

If you are interested in volunteering for the PIT Count, please sign up using our online form (Survey Monkey). Training and support materials will be provided after you register. If you have any questions about volunteering, please email Ashley Johnson.