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How the Fox Cities point-in-time count affects homelessness in our neighborhood

Posted at 4:00 PM, Jan 25, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-25 17:00:02-05

APPLETON (NBC 26) — Volunteers across the nation worked overnight Wednesday to conduct point-in-time counts, including in the Fox Cities.

  • Volunteers across the nation worked overnight Wednesday to conduct point-in-time counts.
  • The point-in-time counts give an accurate measure of homelessness in a certain area, that will be used to get government funding to help address the issue.
  • I rode along with a group of Fox Cities volunteers as they conducted the January 2024 P.I.T.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

When we read or hear about homelessness in Appleton, there’s often a number that follows, giving you an idea of what the problem looks like in our neighborhood. But where do we get those numbers? I’m Olivia Acree, your Appleton neighborhood reporter and I'll tell you where those numbers come from as I tag along to this winter’s Fox Cities coalition point-in-time count.

“There’s certain things in life that you’re like oh that’s never going to happen to me,” said Memory Anderson.

Memory Anderson says homelessness is one of those things. She’s a point-in-time, or P.I.T. volunteer. She knows firsthand the positive impact the point-in-time count can have.

“I’ve had some personal experience with family, and you know looking at what was there for them as far as resources and those willing to help,” said Anderson.

For Liz Croley, the P.I.T. count leader, the count has two goals: get resources out to homeless neighbors and get government funding to help address the issue.

“Right now, we’re counting people that are living in their cars and on the street but that’s not necessarily people that are two paychecks away from homelessness either,” said Croley.

Homeless can look like a lot of things. From those facing housing insecurity, to those that are unhoused, there’s one thing in common:

“Our numbers are increasing,” said Croley.

From July 2022 to July 2023, the P.I.T. count found 21 more people unhoused in our neighborhood. A trend Croley expects to see continue. But volunteers like Anderson will be there to help.

“Everyone has their story and if we can help them out and get them through it then the world's a better place for it,” said Anderson.

Volunteers found roughly 24 people during this January's count,

The final Fox Cities coalition winter point-in-time count numbers will be released in February.