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Officials to Survey Homelessness in Broome County

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Officials are set to canvas Broome County to count the homeless population and get them the help they need.

Starting early Tuesday morning, human service providers from local agencies will perform a Point-in-Time, or PIT, survey from Binghamton to Vestal.

The survey is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as part of its Continuum of Care regulations. It is used for demographic data and helps allocate funding based on needs. Those conducting the survey will visit areas around the County, such as under bridges and overpasses, talking with those who are currently homeless to get to know their situation. They say their primary goal is let them know about resources available.

Officials add that while they have seen a decrease in the sheltered homeless population, the PIT count has shown an increase in the unsheltered homeless population over recent years.

“We’ve also seen an increase in not only families as a whole that are experiencing homelessness, but unsheltered families. So that’s our job. The data doesn’t just stay put somewhere. We take a look at it. We compare it to previous years, and we get to work trying to figure out how we can remedy those issues,” said Rebecca Rathmell of the Southern Tier Homeless Coalition.

Rathmell says the group will bring along supply bags. These bags will include items like a fleece blanket, insulated socks and water bottles. They will also be bringing hot chocolate along with them.

In addition to this canvas, there will be a survey report on the number of those homeless at shelters, community meals, and other area locations throughout the week.

Results from the survey will not be officially released until later in the year.