COVID-19 is preventing The Homeless Alliance from coordinating its biggest outreach project with the City of Oklahoma City, the Point in Time Count.
During the end of January, Homeless Alliance volunteers would normally be spending the night getting the best count they can on how many people in Oklahoma don’t have a home. This year, it says the count would not be accurate, so it will not publish the report.
The Homeless Alliance said COVID-19 has made it unsafe for their volunteers to go into camps and meal sites to get a headcount.
The volunteers usually keep track on three types of homelessness including sheltered, unsheltered, and transitional housing.
The alliance said overnight shelters will still provide data on the 700+ individuals and families staying at their facility. However, many shelters are reducing capacity to allow for social distancing. That means the data will not include a large number of homeless people staying outside of shelters.
The alliance said the pandemic has forced people out of their homes, but that doesn’t mean they immediately end up on the streets. Many will move in with family and friends or couch surf until they have burned through their resources.
The Homeless Alliance said it will coordinate a comprehensive count next year.