Everybody Counts Charlotte: Volunteers & Donations Needed for 'Point in Time' Count

Volunteers conducting the Point-in-Time Count

November is National Homeless Awareness Month and preparations are underway for the 2024 Point-in-Time (PIT) Count. On Jan. 25, 2024, volunteers will span out across Charlotte-Mecklenburg streets, shelters, and encampments to identify individuals who are living without homes. Mecklenburg County is now seeking those volunteers to help ensure everybody counts. 

The annual Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Point-in-Time Count is conducted across the United States to gather data on homelessness. It takes place on a single night in January each year and provides a snapshot of homelessness. The key objectives of the PIT Count are to estimate the number of people experiencing homelessness and to understand their demographic characteristics and living situations. Another goal of finding unsheltered homeless individuals and families is to connect them to available resources. 

Mecklenburg County Community Support Services and the Hearts for the Invisible Charlotte coalition have partnered to lead the 2024 Point-in-Time Count. Residents can help by offering time, donating items, and raising awareness. 

  • Give Time: Volunteers are needed on Jan. 25 to help complete surveys with people experiencing homelessness. Two information sessions are scheduled for prospective volunteers: Dec. 5 and Dec. 13. Learn more about the information sessions and register to volunteer here.

  • Donate: Mecklenburg County residents can donate items to help people sleeping outside until housing is secured. Access the wishlist here.

  • Raise Awareness: Residents can share information with their friends, family, and networks about housing and homelessness using the #EverybodyCountsCLT hashtag and PIT Activities calendar. The PIT Activities calendar provides data and links to events throughout January. It will be available mid-December at the Point-in-Time Count page on the Housing and Homelessness Dashboard. 

During last year’s Charlotte-Mecklenburg Point-in-Time Count, 1,916 people were counted, including 171 families, 106 youth, and 288 people sleeping outside.

Counting is critical to understand the scope of the problem. The PIT Count is the primary method for community partners to collect information about unsheltered homelessness, which has risen 35% since 2020. When combined with the One Number (the total number of actively homeless individuals in the community) and community data on system performance, the PIT Count provides Charlotte-Mecklenburg a way to look at progress in the work to end and prevent homelessness.

To learn more about the state of housing in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, visit the Housing and Homelessness Dashboard