Tuesday, December 22, 2015

In Dallas Everyone Counts!

We just started publicizing our need for volunteers for the upcoming Homeless Count, and we already have about 35 registered teams! The thing is, we are going to need about 200 teams.

Why is the Homeless Count so important? Well, you can't fix a problem if you don't have accurate information about it. If you do, you can not only fix it, but measure how and what solutions are working. That is why we are all about the data.

Thankfully, the media and the public is catching on to this. Listen to this short fascinating piece from Friday afternoon:

Like we said, we need about 200 teams, and more importantly, we need YOU! So, please register today. But don't stop there. Tell your friends and co-workers, and post on social media, using #dallascounts2016. All the info, a link to register, and more is on the dedicated page on our website: http://www.mdhadallas.org/2016-homeless-count/

Together, we'll make a statement on January 21, 2016 - Dallas is our home, and in Dallas everyone counts!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Are You Ready to Kick It up a Notch? In Dallas Everyone Counts! #dallascounts2016

Are you ready to show that in Dallas everyone counts?! This year MDHA is kicking its Point-In-Time Homeless Count up a notch! Here’s how:
  • We are recruiting way more volunteers. We hope to get 750 this time. With more volunteers, we can canvas more areas, and that means improved accuracy.
  • Volunteers will be counting the unsheltered homeless only. We know where the sheltered homeless are. They are sheltered, after all! Service providers will provide MDHA with an accurate count of these folks, electronically. That way our volunteers can concentrate on finding and counting the unsheltered homeless. 
  • We are using geographic information system (GIS) mapping software to plan volunteer routes. We are tiering the routes, according to the likelihood of the presence of homeless persons in any given area.
  • We are asking volunteers to register in advance as teams. This will greatly help us plan the exact routing of volunteers, streamline the Count, and better utilize volunteers’ time during the evening of the count.  
  • We are asking volunteers to collect names, contact info and pictures of those they count, with the latters’ permission. The reason for this is two-fold. First, we can’t end persons’ homelessness, if we don’t know who they are, where they stay, how we can contact them, and what they look like. Second, in order to qualify for solutions that can help folks end their homelessness, their homelessness needs to be documented. This too is easier to do for the sheltered homeless; not so much for the unsheltered homeless. The Count is a great opportunity to do just that, but once again, without getting all their info, “no can do…”
Go to http://www.mdhadallas.org/2016-homeless-count/ for all the info you need, to register, and to help us spread the word! Don’t forget to post all about it on social media, using this hashtag: #dallascounts2016

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

750 Volunteers Needed for the MDHA 2016 Point-In-Time Homeless Count

On Thursday night, January 21, 2016, 8:00pm–1:00am, the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance (MDHA) will be conducting its annual Point-In-Time (PIT) Homeless Count. The Count, a requirement under federal law, helps communities and the nation as a whole, identify and understand the extent and nature of homelessness, changing trends in this area, and the measure of our success in ending homelessness. Results of the Count will be shared with the community during the “State of the Homeless Address” in March 2016.

That night volunteers will fan out from a number of staging areas, across Dallas County, to count the unsheltered homeless, while partner agencies will count the sheltered homeless. The volunteers will follow routes created with geographic information system (GIS) mapping software, canvassing under bridges, in parks, in cars, and in (safe to investigate) wooded areas and abandoned buildings, as well as other areas where persons may be seeking shelter from the cold.

In order to conduct a full and accurate count of the unsheltered homeless, MDHA will need 750 volunteers, registered as teams of 3-5 persons. MDHA is actively seeking the help of the community in recruiting volunteers. This event, which requires a 4-6 hour one time commitment, makes for an excellent short term service project for congregations, companies, non-profits, service organizations, and neighborhood associations. Advance online and on-site training will be provided.

For more information go to: www.mdhadallas.org/2016-homeless-count/.