The Milwaukee Continuum of Care homeless services consortium organized a 2020 “Point in Time” count on January 22 to capture an accurate representation of how many people experience homelessness on a single night in Milwaukee County.

During last year’s Point in Time census, 885 people were counted as experiencing homelessness on January 23, 2019. Information gathered through the effort supports the organization’s strategic planning program to provide appropriate solutions to address local homelessness.

“Conducting an accurate count of the homeless individuals in Milwaukee helps us understand how to allocate resources and refocus our efforts. The Milwaukee Continuum of Care’s yearly count is a meaningful event that provides us with the most reliable data to continue making positive change in the community,” said Mayor Tom Barrett.

The 2020 Point in Time event provided those experiencing homelessness in Milwaukee County with contact from street outreach teams, 2-1-1 services, access to warming rooms for shelter, connections to public benefits, and fulfillment of basic needs – such as winter clothing and hygiene items.

Over the last ten years, annual Point in Time counts have helped track a 77% decrease in people experiencing chronic homelessness and a 45% decrease in total veterans experiencing homelessness. The Continuum of Care’s years of experience organizing Point in Time counts were made possible due to federal funding for Milwaukee’s permanent, supportive housing programs that work to end homelessness for single adults with disabilities, families, veterans and youth.

The Point in Time count involves the coordination of multiple partners: community street outreach teams, donation drive organizers, local emergency and transitional shelters, warming room organizers, the Veterans Administration Medical Center, youth homeless service providers, Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division, Hunger Task Force and community service organizations.

Anyone experiencing homelessness is welcome to seek shelter at Milwaukee warming rooms on the night of Wednesday, January 22. Those in need may contact 2-1-1 for access to shelter, transportation and related services. The Milwaukee Continuum of Care was established in 1998 as the entity responsible for coordinating the community’s annual Supportive Housing Program application to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The City of Milwaukee has served as the lead agency for the Milwaukee Continuum of Care since 2012. Partners include: St. Ben’s Meal Program (924 W. State St.), Pathways (1615 S. 22nd St.), One God Ministry (7301 W. Burleigh St.), Divine Intervention Ministry to the Homeless, Tippecanoe Church (125 W. Saveland Ave.), Ephesians Missionary Baptist Church (2412 N. 6th St.), Repairers of the Breach (1335 W. Vliet St.), and Wilson Park Senior Center (2601 W. Howard Ave.)