Annual PIT count measuring homelessness rates

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – The annual Point-In-Time Count takes place every year on the last Thursday in January.

This federally mandated PIT count helps provide lawmakers with a detailed understanding of the status of homelessness,  locally-  and nationally. 

“They use this information to report back to Congress about the numbers that we are seeing and the conditions that we are seeing. They look at  the trends and changes in homelessness such as if there is more of a certain population that is experiencing homelessness, if there’s more chronically homeless individuals,” says Wendy Winters, Executive Director of Chattanooga Homeless Coalition. 

The Homeless Coalition says the count spanning Hamilton County and ten surrounding counties is expected to be higher than average due to consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In fact, the coalition helpline reported a 150% increase in calls this year. 

Officials say higher unemployment and economic uncertainty have led to an unprecedented crisis for those seeking affordable housing.”

“We have no affordable housing in Chattanooga. That’s our largest barrier right now for getting people off the street, but we have no housing. We have nowhere for people to go,” says Dylan Green, outreach Specialist for the Homeless Coalition. 

All data collected from the count is expected to be compiled over the next month and then released to the public.

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News, Regional News