PUEBLO – On any given night in Pueblo, more than 300 people are sleeping on the streets or living in tents along the banks of Fountain Creek. That number comes from the latest homeless census known as a Point In Time Count.
Just like the actual Census, the Point In Time count gives city planners a tool to measure the size of the homeless population. That data can be used to make more informed decisions about homeless services.
The survey was conducted last month by Teah Miller, Director of Crisis Services for Health Solutions. Miller is the designated Continuum of Care Coordinators for Pueblo County.
She said the full homeless population Pueblo is probably higher than 500 people. Miller explained that about 200 homeless receive services through the various shelters in the community. But that estimate is likely to be low because of difficulties associated with counting such a transient population.
“We did encounter some people during the count sleeping in cars or porches,” Miller said. “If we found them, we counted them, but we know there is a vast number of homeless that we couldn’t find that are sleeping in those areas.”
All of the data collected locally through the Point in Time Count is reported to state officials who then relay the information to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The data also helps non-profit organizations and other charities who serve the homeless to apply for federal grants and assistance programs.