Homeless Survey in Yakima County Happens This Month
The 9th annual Point In Time (PIT) Survey will take place Thursday, January 31 in Yakima County. The survey is a yearly census of people who are homeless. Although the survey is anonymous, it does record information such as age, gender, ethnicity of household members, current homeless status, duration of homelessness, and factors contributing to the homelessness of participants, such as disabilities, income status, education and need for services. From this information local service providers are able to see what services, in addition to housing, are needed to help people regain their independence and become self-sufficient. Last year the survey found 996 people living in Yakima County without permanent or adequate shelter. This year more than 200 volunteers, staged at four different locations, will spread out across the county to conduct the survey. The four staging area locations include: The Yakima Convention Center, 10 N. 8th St., Yakima; Noah’s Ark, 117 East Second St., Wapato; Toppenish Community Chest Food Bank, 4 North B St., Toppenish; and Oasis Community Church, 344 N. 11th St., Sunnyside. In addition to the Point In Time Survey, the Yakima and Sunnyside survey sites will also host Project Homeless Connect, a service fair designed to help connect people who are homeless with services currently available to them. Last year 268 people attended the Yakima event and more than 251 attended in Sunnyside. Attendees received services such as health and dental screenings, haircuts, free phone calls, a hot meal and care packages. The lead organization conducting the local survey is the Homeless Network of Yakima County. The Homeless Network encourages people who are homeless, or those who know someone who is, to call 211 for more information about the event closest to you. Community members who would like to volunteer or make a donation to help support this year’s effort should contact Yakima County Department of Human Services at (509) 574-1520.