Osceola County’s homelessness issue has been well documented. To efficiently and effectively address the challenge, local and national leaders need a better understanding of the scope of what they are dealing with, and by knowing the actual number of homeless in our community.

On Jan. 22 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Central Florida’s Continuum of Care will conduct its annual Point-in-Time (PIT) Count of persons experiencing homelessness.

The PIT Count relies on a volunteer foot patrol that go out to conduct a count of persons experiencing homelessness within Osceola, Orange, and Seminole Counties. PIT provides a snapshot of how many people are considered homeless in Central Florida, in order to track the progress towards ending homelessness, and to tailor the local programs and support services that are offered to those experiencing homelessness.

The Continuum of Care is looking for as many volunteers as possible in Osceola County to help get that clearer picture of how many of our neighbors who are currently homeless.

Register now if you are interested in volunteering for this year’s PIT Count by going to the PIT Count Eventbrite page. All volunteers must be at least 18 years of age and will be required to participate in a training session before the count day. More information about training sessions will be provided after registration

At Monday’s meeting, County Commissioners authorized $226,662 in spending for ongoing services to a short list of chronically homeless residents. the Homeless Services Network will administer the Osceola County funds for the delivery of the wrap-around services. These services will include intensive case management, peer counseling, housing assistance and housing location services, and outreach, and will be provided by organizations that include Health Care Center for the Homeless.