The Marion-Polk region needs volunteers for the annual Point-In-Time (PIT) Count now underway. The PIT Count provides a snapshot of the number of people experiencing sheltered and unsheltered homelessness on a given night in our community, and yields valuable data on trends in subpopulation demographics.

Volunteers are needed for the Marion-Polk region PIT Count on January 25, January 26 and January 29. Volunteer teams will cover all parts of the Marion-Polk region and interview as many local unsheltered individuals as possible, asking them where they slept the night of January 24. Volunteer training will be provided and is mandatory for everyone participating in the PIT Count. All volunteers must sign up in advance. 

The data collected from the PIT Count helps government agencies with policies and resource allocation. It also helps inform local service providers with how to adjust services to better meet the needs of people experiencing homelessness.

The annual PIT Count helps measure our successes and better understand the challenges and needs of people experiencing homelessness from one year to the next,” said Robert Marshall, Community Action Agency PIT Count Lead. “Homelessness is the top concern in our community according to the City of Salem's 2021 Community Satisfaction Survey, and the data gathered will provide insights to help us solve this humanitarian problem.” 

The PIT Count is a collaborative effort of the Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency, the Mid-Willamette Valley Homeless Alliance, homeless service providers, and volunteers in every community in Marion and Polk counties. It tracks sheltered homeless people staying in emergency shelters or transitional housing as well as unsheltered people staying in places that aren’t intended for shelter such as cars, encampments, doorways or sidewalks.

For more information on how the PIT Count is conducted, volunteer opportunities and training, visit the Homeless Alliance at https://mwvhomelessalliance.org.