FAQs

If you have other questions that are not answered below, please go to the Contact Us page to send us a message. We will try to respond as soon as possible. 

For media inquiries, please contact Dora Taylor-Lowe: dora.taylor-lowe@dc.gov

What will I be doing as a volunteer?

A:

Prior to the January 22nd PIT Count night, all volunteers must attend a volunteer training. The training will cover: background and purpose of the count; downloading and using the survey app; how to use the mobile maps; specific survey questions; and safety and engagement tips. After completing the training a volunteer should feel fully equipped to conduct the count.  

On the PIT Count night volunteers will arrive at the kick-off location, check-in, and will be given their neighborhood team assignment. Each neighborhood team is headed up by a Team Lead who is an experienced homeless outreach professional and will serve as the point-person for all volunteers during the night of the PIT Count. You can select your neighborhood preferences during the volunteer registration where you can also request to be paired with other volunteers or groups of volunteers. 

On the night of the Count, volunteers will be assigned to a group of 2-3 people within their neighborhood team and each group will be given a map that they will be responsible for canvassing. Over 3 to 4 hours, volunteer groups will thoroughly cover their map areas and survey individuals who are sleeping outside. At the end of the night volunteers meet back up with their neighborhood Team Lead to drop off any supplies and check out.

I've never done this before, how will I know what to do?

A:

That's okay! All volunteers will be required to attend one volunteer training in the weeks prior to the Point-in-Time Count. The volunteer training will fully prepare you to engage with people who are experiencing homelessness and administer the survey. Additionally, on the night of the count, your neighborhood's Team Lead will be available to assist you.

During the sign-up process you will be prompted to rsvp for a volunteer training. Click here to see the training schedule

Can I choose which neighborhood I want to volunteer in?

A:

Yes! During the sign-up you will be asked to select your neighborhood preference. We encourage volunteers to sign up for neighborhoods that they are familiar with. Though we make every effort to assign volunteers to their area of preference, we ask them to be willing to survey in any neighborhood in the District as they might be assigned to a different area, depending on
each area's volunteer needs.

When are the volunteer trainings?

A:

Volunteer trainings will be held at the First Congregational United Church of Christ on the following dates:

1/14/2020 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm 

1/15/2020 - 3:00pm to 5:00pm

1/16/2020 - 11:00am to 1:00pm

1/16/2020 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Please note that you must register as a volunteer and select your training date at that time. Walk-ins will not be able to attend the training. 

Tell me more about this new survey app!

A:

Sure! We will be using Survey123 for ArcGIS to collect our PIT Count data. This survey app is a simple and intuitive to use, and is available to download for free in the Apple App and Google Play stores. 

There are several advantages to switching from paper surveys to an app survey for the Point-in-Time Count. Here are a few we like:

  • Using an app will improve data quality overall;
  • It includes built-in skip logic for the questions making it much easier to use than paper surveys;
  • It helps cut down on paper waste;
  • Without as many paper surveys to enter, it speeds up our timeline for data analysis;
  • Data is secured by the ESRI Cloud server;
  • The built-in GPS function will provide location data that will be useful to our on-going systems work;
  • There is no need for wifi/data connection while out in the field, making it a smart choice for PIT Count night. 

What happens if there is a really bad weather event on the night of PIT, is it still on?

A:

In the event of inclement weather on the scheduled PIT Count night we will reschedule to the following night (Thursday, January, 23rd). We will inform all volunteers and staff NO LATER THAN 12:00pm on Wednesday, January 22nd if we are rescheduling to the following night. 

Where do we show up on the PIT Count night?

A:

After you attend a training, you will receive an email with information about our PIT Count kick-off event where volunteers will meet on the PIT Count night at 8pm. All volunteers will meet at the central location before being deployed out with their neighborhood teams. 

What is the schedule on the night of PIT?

A:

The schedule on the night of PIT is as follows: 

  • 8pm: Volunteers arrive
  • 8pm to 9pm: Volunteers meet teammates and team leads; neighborhood PIT planning in teams
  • 9pm to 10pm: Kick-off presentation with local leadership
  • 10pm: Surveyors are deployed to their neighborhoods
  • 12pm(ish): Teams meet with their team lead of midway check-in around midnight; review progress and go back to their areas to make they have thoroughly canvassed
  • 1-2pm(ish): Teams finish up, meet up with their team lead, drop-off supplies, and check-out

I want to volunteer with my friend, how can I make sure that we get the same assignment?

A:

During registration you will have an opportunity to provide feedback to us about the person, or team, you wish to be paired with. As the PIT Count Coordinating Team makes team assignments, we will prioritize these requests over neighborhood preference, to ensure that you can be paired with your friend or team.