RAPID CITY, S.D. — Each year, on the last Tuesday of January, there is a point-in-time count of all those struggling with homelessness. The count tallies the capacity of our state for sheltered and unsheltered people.
The numbers from the PIT count helps inform funding and services in our region, however, it is cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Volunteers typically give away hygiene kits and food for the homeless participating in the count.
So, organizers of the count are encouraging the community to support the homeless by giving back in other ways, with the theme “21 good deeds” in place of the 21 point in time count on January 26th.
The Homeless Coalition is focusing on everyone staying safe this year and making next year’s count more effective and efficient.
Sara Hornick, the Coordinator of Homeless Services at Volunteers of America Northern Rockies, says, “We don’t just want to skip a year and kind of forget about what happened, because unfortunately in 2020, we couldn’t do our homeless connect which is our huge giveback event, and so you know, we are just trying to figure out creative ways of still keeping in touch with our homeless serving agency and our homeless population, but creatively.”
The list of good deeds includes wear green on Tuesday, January 26th, donate 21 travel sized items to a local organization, volunteer 21 minutes – 21 hours – or 21 days, or complete 21 random acts of kindness.
Hornick says, “This is the year to really educate, you know, legislators and educate our public about the importance of PIT count, so if we start now and start recruiting volunteers and really even doing trainings on how to do a proper PIT count in Rapid City and all the outlining areas, we are just hoping our 2022 count will be super beneficial and we will get the most accurate count that we can.”
Click here to get involved in the 21 good deeds.