If the preliminary numbers are correct, Fayette County once again saw a drop in its total number of homeless people.
The annual Point In Time count, held from sundown on Tuesday to sunrise on Wednesday, resulted in 49 people who either reported themselves as being homeless or were found to be either homeless or at-risk of homelessness.
A year ago the PIT count totaled 53 people.
“We continue to have a downward trend,” said Christina Blair, a consultant to Fayette County Community Action, who helps organize the yearly event. “We had six unsheltered people last year and now we’re down to one. We’re making significant improvements in that sense.”
About 15 volunteers searched the county Tuesday night to find anyone who may be living on the streets. Blair said that because of the sub-zero temperatures that night she was not surprised to find just one person who was unsheltered.
“I think it definitely decreased the number of folks that we were going to find outside,” she said. “When the weather gets like this, it encourages people to welcome these folks to come and stay with them for the night.”
Over the past several years Fayette County has seen the number of total people who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness drop during the yearly Point In Time count.
Blair said that the drop from 53 to 49 was not a surprise.
“I was expecting something close,” she said. “We want to continue to see the trends of homelessness decreasing in the community.”
Volunteers offered care packages of food, clothing, blankets, toiletries and similar items to people who were in need.
Blair said that one individual that night told her the thing that would change their situation the most was being able to have a job.
Data from the 2014 Point In Time count will be gathered and submitted to the state for statewide and regional information that will be released later this year.
“It’s a very lengthy process,” said Blair. “The data won’t be finalized until March.”