The Big Bend region has seen a decrease in total homelessness over the last year. That is according to the Big Bend Continuum’s yearly Point-in-Time count. But, board members say the decreases in some categories are a result of aligning the survey’s questions and requirements to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s standards. Racquel Wiles with the Continuum of Care explains why those changes were made.
“In previous years, though we’ve done a way more in depth assessment, it really goes into more sensitive questions. Asking do you do certain things for money? Things like that. Just real uncomfortable in a sense. And so we were finding that, that survey was taking folks 20 to 30 minutes a person to do. And so we kind of trimmed it down a bunch, and stuck to the HUD requirements and a couple more questions we wanted to know for our COC,” Wiles says.
Point in Time surveys take place over the course of one night, and only give a snapshot of homelessness in the region. Only three of the eight counties in the Big Bend region participated in this year’s count.