Virginia Beach needs help identifying locations of people living unsheltered to help with annual homeless population count


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — City officials in Virginia Beach are looking for the public’s help with identifying locations where people may be living unsheltered throughout the city.

The information will help Virginia Beach Housing and Neighborhood Preservation with the 2021 Point-in-Time (PIT) count.

Locations can be submitted now through Jan. 17, 2021, by clicking here to add a point directly on a map from a phone or computer.

Location points should include the date observed and additional details that will help describe the situation.

The city is asking for visual observations only and those reporting the information are asked not to engage the individuals.

Virginia Beach has a Homeless Outreach Team whose role is to find, engage, and assess the needs of people experiencing street homelessness and help connect them to available resources.

Some signs that indicate a person may be living unsheltered include their personal belongings are left behind, a structure resembling a bed is present, or people have been seen there on multiple occasions.

City officials say the PIT Count is typically conducted during one day in late January with the help of teams of volunteers.

To promote the safety of the community during the pandemic, the city will not seek volunteer support for the 2021 PIT Count.

To allow more time for the city’s Homeless Outreach Team to complete the street count, the 2021 PIT will be extended and held Jan. 27-31.

“Since launching this tool in 2018, we have been able to identify dozens of locations that we were unaware of where people were living unsheltered,” said Pam Shine, homeless service system manager.

“Every year, we try to ensure that the count is as thorough as possible, and it may be more challenging to do that without the many volunteers that usually help with our street count. It will be more important than ever to have the public’s input so that we can enhance our outreach efforts and help ensure that everyone who should be included is counted and assessed for services.”

Read the full release here.





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