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

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. 27
January 5, 2022

​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 2022 Point-in-Time (PIT) Count of the homeless population. Residents can submit locations directly on a map from their mobile device or computer at www.publicinput.com/2022VBPITCount through Jan. 12.

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 – please do not engage the individuals. The City has a Homeless Outreach Team whose role is to find, engage and assess the needs of people experiencing street homelessness and help connect them to available resources.

"It's important that we're able to find all unsheltered individuals so they can be included in the count and assessed for services," said Pam Shine, interim Homeless Services administrator. "This public input opportunity has enhanced our outreach efforts to help ensure the count is as thorough as possible. Since launching it in 2018, the public has helped us identify dozens of unknown locations where people were living unsheltered. It really demonstrates the value of the City and community working together to prevent and end homelessness."

Typically, during the PIT Count, Homeless Services staff lead teams of volunteers to canvass the city and survey people who are without shelter. To promote the health and safety of the community during the pandemic, the department will not be recruiting new PIT volunteers this year. 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.

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.

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.