A key recommendation from the Zero 2016 campaign is that CoCs conduct a registry week, and they recommend combining it with the Point-in-time (PIT) Count. While registry is a component of the Zero 2016 campaign, which Hampden County is participating in, it is also a best practice, recommended for all CoCs–so don’t stop reading if you are in Hampshire, Franklin or Berkshire Counties!
The purpose of a registry week is to gather not just numbers, but actionable information about the people who are homeless in our community. During the PIT count, we are connecting with every homeless person that we can find to count them and identify whether they are part of several subpopulations we count. By conducting a registry, we will not only know how many, but we will also know who they are and what their needs are.
As the 100,000 Homes campaign points out:
Data gathered through the VI will enable your community to prioritize people for housing placement and help you build support for your efforts by framing homelessness accurately as a life-or-death public health emergency. It will also help your community know all the people experiencing homelessness on your streets, including many people who have opted out or cannot meet the demands of your shelter system. Research from Philadelphia found that nearly 30% of people who died on the streets were unknown to the local shelter system, all the more reason to know everyone by name and find them even if they don’t seek you out.
We will be talking about including a registry as part of the 2015 PIT count at this week’s Individual Services meeting–Thursday, December 4, 10:30 to noon at the Northampton Senior Center. Please join us if you are interested in learning more.
For background, review the 100,000 Homes Campaign Registry Week Integration Toolkit.