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Cities participate in the summer homeless Point-in-Time count


Cities across the state are participating in North Dakota’s 2024 Summer Unsheltered Point-in-Time count. The PIT count is an effort to record the number individuals and households experiencing homelessness on a single night in July. Volunteers travel around their cities at night interviewing and counting the homeless population.

Renae Moch is Public Health Director for Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health. She says this count is meant to be a “snapshot” of the number of people experiencing homelessness in the community.

"The numbers that we are able to obtain, we are using for policy development and applications for grant funding. It's really giving us a snapshot and an idea of what the needs are in our community when it comes to individuals that are experiencing homelessness. Also, if there are gaps, it helps us identify what those are, to be able to address those in future goal planning and setting for the community."

This summer count is a North Dakota initiative to collect information during a more temperate season, compared to the nationwide effort mandated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which is conducted annually in January.

Moch says the January count isn’t always a good representation of homeless people because they’re harder to find on a cold winter night. She says the summer count can be more accurate.

"Last year in July, when they had done the point in time count, there were 52 individuals that were found to be unsheltered, which was basically double of what they had found in January. So, I'm wondering how that's going to compare for us this year. If we have 63 in January, are we going to have at least that many, or will we see more like we did last July? It'll be something interesting for us to find out."

The state point in time count will happen July 10th between 10 PM and 4 AM.