If you’ve been keeping up with our blogs recently, it’s no surprise to hear that homelessness in Harford County continues to be a problem (If not, you may catch up here). But, do you have any idea of just how many people are experiencing this challenging phase of life? Each year, Harford County’s Office of Economic and Community Development conducts a survey mandated by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development called the Point In Time (PIT) Count to give us an idea. By definition, PIT is:
An enumeration of unsheltered and sheltered persons experiencing homelessness on one night during the last ten (10) days of the calendar month of January in Harford County’s geographical area.
So, who is counted during the study? HUD outlines them as individuals and families who are living on the street, in tents, cars, abandoned buildings, in emergency shelters, transitional housing and fleeing domestic violence and staying in a domestic violence shelter.
The findings? On January 23, 2019, there were 228 men, women and children without a home. While not all of them were found on the streets, it’s important to consider those who were. Looking back, temperatures during that time period dropped to a chilling 30 degrees. Can you imagine what it would be like to be without a home in those freezing temperatures? Sadly, it was a reality for many of our neighbors with nowhere to turn. As we read studies like the PIT Count we’re reminded at Harford Family House why our organization was formed thirty years ago. Through housing, resources and support, we’re ending homelessness in our community – one family at a time.
The 2019 PIT study revealed a 19% increase in individuals experiencing homelessness over 2018. Thirty-seven percent of those individuals were children. And, these numbers only capture how many people are suffering on ONE night – clearly, our community continues to need our support. In order to increase the number of families we can support, Harford Family House needs YOUR help. To get involved with us by donating, becoming a volunteer or attending an upcoming event, please visit harfordfamilyhouse.org or call 410-273-6700.