Prepare your quiver of buzzwords, because we’ve just minted a new one (reader, beware, jargon ahead). We are a Balance of State Continuum of Care. We cover a huge area (44 counties of West Virginia’s 55 counties). Historically, we have a really shitty Point in Time Count (shitty=15 counties out of 44 returning some semblance of hard survey data). We don’t like that. So, if we are going to continue to have a shitty Point in Time Count, we’ve decided there will be some purpose behind. That being the case, our Assistant Director, Amanda Sisson, had a late-night idea about how we can change things (insomnia CAN be good).
I’ve dubbed Amanda’s idea as a “kinetic point in time count” as a loaner from military parlance for kinetic military action. Kinetic military action is a euphemism for military action involving lethal force. In this case, however, I am applying it to a Point in Time Count scenario that actually does something. A Point in Time Count that involves the active pursuit of housing people, versus the inevitably two-dimensional pursuit of simply counting people. It involves action. Action that is lethal to the continued homelessness of people we count during the point in time.
“Not a new idea” you might say. Agreed. The 100K Homes Campaign was founded on the idea of Registry Weeks, the process by which a “by name” list is created to identify those most in need of housing, Point in Time Count-style, which culminated in identifying housing for all those counted. But that activity has been limited only to the Registry Week Process among communities that have agreed to it. We’re taking a slightly different spin.
So, here’s the idea:
- We’re going to recruit as many people in as many communities as we can to take part in the PIT on January 26th, 2016.
- We’re going to use the new versions of the VI-SPDATs to provide the survey tool and the data we need for the PIT.
- We’re going to pool our CoC’s rapid rehousing resources, and empty permanent supportive housing units, regardless of resource, and rapidly rehouse every person we find on the street during the point in time count.
“But, Zach, you might have to rapidly rehouse chronically homeless people!”. I know. We’re already doing that with our WVCEH outreach/rapid rehousing services. “But Zach, not everyone will accept housing during the PIT!”. We know, but it’s worth asking while we’re doing the count. Active, focused, intentional, kinetic. We’ll still get the data we need, but we’ll also be making a housing blitz simultaneously. Pretty cool, huh?
We’ve not worked out every little detail of how this will flow yet, but we felt this one was too good to keep under our hat for long. Plus, we encourage others to let us know if they’ve done this before. Plaster us with ideas. Anything. As we work out of the finer details, we’ll pass those along as well.
Kinetic. Not Connecticut. Kinetic. It’s going to be awesome.