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Point In Time count helps get necessary funds for homeless programs

Posted at 10:56 PM, Jan 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-24 00:03:25-05

Every year the city, does a "Point In Time (PIT)" count to get an idea of just how many homeless residents are living in the Corpus Christi area. The information is crucial in getting some of the city's most vulnerable people the help they need.

Martha Head came from Austin, where she had a room to stay in. Her situation is different in Corpus Christi.

"Well, I just don't have money to rent a room or get into a house," she said.

Money, drugs and mental illness are just some of the reasons people such as Martha end up living on the streets. Programs that help them are essential, with the homeless population on the rise.

The Homeless Issue Partnership (HIP), in association with the Texas Homeless Network and community volunteers, conducted a PIT count, which correlates to federal funding for county programs that ultimately help the area's homeless population.

"For housing programs, for non-profit shelters, for transitional programs -- any kind of program you can think of -- it all comes from government funding," said the HIP's Kyle Knutson.

Data is collected through a 35-question survey to get an idea of what barriers the homeless face, and what the gaps are in available services. It's an initiative many in the community support.

"The funding can play into in making changes, and closing the gaps, in services to the people who are homeless," said volunteer Eddie Jackson-Mathis.

The goal is to help those, like Martha, get off the streets. But for those not taking advantage of services offered, getting ahead can be difficult.

"It's hard to get a job when you're from another city, or if you don't have the right clothes or the right temperament," Head said.

The HIP started the count today and will only use today's numbers for its data, however folks with the group will be out in the city gathering numbers through Sunday. Once the numbers are compiled, they'll be made available to the public.