Midlands organizations to conduct Point-in-Time Count to better understand homeless situation

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) – United Way of the Midlands is conducting it annual homelessness “Point-in-Time” Count Wednesday through Sunday.

The PIT Count is part of a nationwide effort to estimate the number of Americans who do not have a home, so that community partners, like United Way, may better tailor their services to the big picture.

United Way of the Midlands leads a network of advocates, service providers and funders, collectively known as the Midlands Area Consortium for the Homeless (MACH). The network’s goal is to provide resources for area homeless.

MACH conducts the PIT Count within 14 counties in South Carolina: Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Calhoun, Chester, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lancaster, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg, Richland and York.

United Way said the annual count is working. The organization reports homelessness in the Columbia area has dropped 40 percent since 2013. In its last count, 1,200 people in shelters or on the streets were recorded.

This year’s count will include a special focus on teens. Anyone between the ages 17 and 24 who experiences homelessness should stop by MIRCI’s Drop-In Center at 1433 Gregg Street on January 24, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The center is open every day of the week for those who are in need of services.

Young Leaders Society, a group of United Way donors between 21 and 40, is hosting an Oyster Roast, Thursday, to raise awareness about the count and collect new cold-weather accessories, like blankets, gloves, hats and sleeping bags. The items will be handed out during the PIT Count.

The event is happening from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Millstone at Adams Pond, 5301 Bluff Rd. in Columbia. Buy your tickets in advance, here.


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