Some advocates think there’s too much reliance on the annual survey — fittingly called the “point-in-time count” — because it only provides a snapshot in time and doesn’t reflect the constantly changing nature of homelessness.
“It can only tell you what’s happening in that week in January. It can’t tell you what’s happening in the community over the course of the year” and whether any progress is being made, said Beth Sandor of Community Solutions, a nonprofit that works closely with communities to end homelessness. She said it’s like trying to understand the COVID-19 crisis by only looking at what happened during one week in March.
Sandor hopes the need to scale back this year’s count will provide an opportunity for the country to find a better way to collect more up-to-date information in the future.