Marquette County homeless shelters conduct ‘Point in Time’ Count of people experiencing homelessness

Shelters across Upper Michigan and the U.S. conduct these counts to get an estimate of their county’s homeless population.
Marquette County Non-profits team up for count of homeless
Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 7:05 PM EST
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MARQUETTE COUNTY, Mich. (WLUC) - A nationwide effort to count local homeless populations is underway.

It lasts until Feb. 2, and is known as the Point in Time Count. Marquette County non-profits began a PIT Count Wednesday for those in need of housing. “It’s an attempt by [the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development], a federal agency, to get a count of all the people experiencing homelessness at one time throughout the United States,” Room at the Inn Executive Director Nick Emmendorfer said.

Alongside homeless shelters in ten other Upper Michigan counties, Room at the Inn, Janzen House, the Salvation Army, and the Women’s Center are working together on this process. They began counting all people experiencing homelessness who live in their shelters on Wednesday. “Typically it’s the last Wednesday in Jan. that we do the Point in Time count because that’s when most people are in shelters,” Emmendorfer said.

While they completed the Point in Time Count of all people inside homeless shelters Wednesday, they have another week to tally those in the Marquette County community who don’t live in a shelter but still experience homelessness. The shelters have a team of staff and volunteers who will go out and do so.

Like the census, it’s important to get a proper estimate of this population. “The goal is to just be as accurate as possible because the funding that comes in from HUD is dependent on how many people are in need of services,” Emmendorfer said.

Emmendorfer says there are over 30 people currently at Room at the Inn’s Warming Shelter, an uptick compared to this time last year. He adds that the COVID-19 pandemic has driven up the homeless population in Upper Michigan, and expects the Point in Time Count to be higher as a result.

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