January 3, 2023

Virginia Beach Seeking Public’s Assistance in Identifying Locations Where Individuals are Living Unsheltered

Information Will Be Used to Prepare for Annual Count of Homeless Population on Jan. 25

Virginia Beach Housing & Neighborhood Preservation is asking for the public's help in identifying locations throughout the city where individuals have been observed living without shelter. The information will help guide staff during the street count of the 2023 Point-in-Time (PIT) Count of the homeless population. An online map tool at www.PublicInput.com/2023VBPITCount can be used to submit locations from a mobile device or computer through Jan. 9.

Signs that an individual is living unsheltered include personal belongings left behind, a structure resembling a bed is present, individuals have been seen there on multiple occasions, etc. Location points should also include the date observed and additional details that will help describe the situation. The department is asking for visual observations only.

"The City has a Homeless Outreach Team who goes out into the community every day to find, engage and assess the needs of people living in encampments and experiencing street homelessness and help connect them to available resources," said Pam Shine, Homeless Services administrator. "This tool enhances our efforts for the Point-in-Time Count to help ensure we are as thorough as possible and that all unsheltered individuals have the opportunity to be included in the count and assessed for services. It's just one, but very important, way we can involve the community in helping us to prevent and end homelessness."

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires cities that receive federal funding for homeless programs to conduct an unduplicated count of the homeless population, known as the Point-in-Time Count. The count helps determine how much funding a community will receive for homeless programs and services and provides demographic information about a city's homeless population. Each year, approximately $2 million is granted through the Continuum of Care to Virginia Beach agencies that provide housing and supportive services to the homeless.

The PIT Count is just one way Housing & Neighborhood Preservation determines how many people are experiencing homelessness in Virginia Beach. More information about the PIT Count and other sources of homelessness data can be found here.

For assistance with the online tool, contact Stacey Leary, at (757) 385-5161 or sleary@vbgov.com. For more information about providing locations for the Homeless Outreach Team, contact Crystal Bailey at (757) 385-5165.

For more ways to give help and join the community effort on making homelessness rare, brief and nonrecurring in Virginia Beach, visit www.BEACHCommunityPartnership.org.

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