STATEWIDE — On one cold January night across the nation, all states will conduct the annual Point in Time Count to count all sheltered and unsheltered individuals in their state. In Wyoming, that night is Jan. 25, 2023. This survey is a count of all people experiencing homelessness for a snapshot or a point-in-time count. This count is planned, coordinated and carried out locally but reported to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Congress every year.
In all 23 counties in Wyoming, this survey and count will be headed up by local and state agencies, along with city and county partners and volunteers.
In order to count all people experiencing unsheltered homelessness, hours and hours of planning and training go into preparing to locate, survey and count those who, by definition, will be sleeping in locations not intended for human occupancy such as cars, abandoned buildings, parks or streets.
This year’s data, like with every Point in Time Count, are expected to have a significant undercount of people experiencing homelessness in Wyoming. Because of HUD federal rules, the count does not include those people who do not have a home of their own on the night of Jan. 25 but were “doubled up,” staying with friends or family, also known as couch surfing. It’s also not possible to definitively find, survey and count every person experiencing homelessness.
The outcome of the count does not directly affect funding levels, but conducting the tally helps ensure our communities remain eligible for federal funding for housing and homelessness services.
Last year, 29 Wyoming agencies counted 584 homeless men, women and children in shelters and 64 individuals representing 57 households in unsheltered conditions. Of the total count of sheltered and unsheltered individuals, 106 of them were under the age of 18. When looking at unaccompanied youth in the count, nine children under the age 18 were identified.
To find out more about the count and how you might help, contact Karla McClaren at [email protected] or Susan Carr at [email protected]. More information can be found at the Wyoming Homeless Collaborative’s web page at https://wyomingwhc.org.