The Palm Beach County Community Services Department recently announced the results of its annual point-in-time (PIT) count of homeless people in Palm Beach County.
During the 24-hour count held in January, the survey identified a total of 1,397 individuals as homeless. This is an increase of approximately 6 percent from 2018, but is down 13 percent from 2017.
The 2019 PIT count indicated a decrease of homelessness in the north region of the county and an increase in the south region.
This year, organizers used a new mobile app to conduct the PIT count, which streamlined the process and reduced the amount of time needed to collect information from individuals experiencing homelessness. The improved technology along with having more than 200 volunteers to conduct surveys provided better coverage throughout the county.
According to the Department of Housing & Urban Development, homelessness is defined as people who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence; individuals or families who will imminently lose their primary nighttime residence; families with children or youth who are unstably housed; or people fleeing or attempting to flee domestic violence or life-threatening situations related to violence.
Data collected from the count helps pinpoint geographic zones where services are needed and will provide vital information when seeking funding to support homeless programs throughout Palm Beach County.