Jeff Humphrey, Media Manager, 509.625.6308
Wednesday, January 3, 2024 at 9:39 a.m.
The City of Spokane is evoking the legend of Superman in its quest to recruit more volunteers for the upcoming Point in Time Count.
“It’s the quality that makes Superman more human. And his greatest power is volunteerism. And we need volunteers. That’s the only way this project works. It’s the only way the Point in Time Count is accurate, by making sure we have as many community members and volunteers possible,” detailed Adam Schooley, Spokane’s Community, Housing and Human Services Department.
Every year, in late January, more than a hundred volunteers fan out all over Spokane County to gather information about people experiencing homelessness.
“This information plays a pivotal role in the funding that we capture for projects and services that our providers provide, and is absolutely needed to make sure we reflect the need in our community,” Schooley explained.
That need includes improving the lives of people living on the street, but also resolving the impacts homelessness is having on our community.
“We know there are a lot of people who want to come together and help out with the unhoused population and find paths to true stability and housing. And, the best way to do that is, know where we are starting with this Point in Time Count,” said Lisa Brown, Spokane Mayor.
Spokane’s new mayor speaks from experience. Brown served as a volunteer during a trio of Point in Time Counts.
Sabrina St. Clair, a CHAS Health outreach worker, has helped with the in-field census for almost a decade.
“They will crawl into anywhere that will afford them some shelter, a doorway. Under a bridge. In trees. It’s definitely worth being out in the cold to really get a good picture of what our folks, and our peeps, are living with on a day-to-day basis,” said St. Clair.
And that snapshot helps the entire Spokane region attract funding for things like shelters, rehabilitation and job training.
“The Continuum of Care is a regional body and is very much responsible for capturing the funding that could go to all of our regional partners, to assure we are addressing this need effectively throughout our region,” emphasized Schooley.
This year, the Empire Health Foundation has offered to serve as the headquarters for the Point in Time Count.
The Central Library will also serve as a survey site and headquarters for the census takers recording data and offering resources downtown.
For more information about volunteering for the count, visit the Point in Time Count page.