Nearly 500 Homeless Individuals in Summit County

Staff member looking at a homeless camp.

Feb 01, 2016

By Community Support Services

Over the past few weeks, the Community Support Services Homeless Outreach Team has been working with partner agencies to prepare for the annual Point-in-Time count.  The Point-in-Time (PIT) count is conducted yearly on a single night in January and is a count of all of the sheltered and unsheltered individuals and families experiencing homelessness. The PIT count is a requirement of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and takes place on the same day throughout the US.  Data collected through the PIT count is instrumental in the Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) which is submitted to Congress.  The data is particularly important when it comes to measuring our progress towards the goal of preventing and eliminating homelessness across the United States. 

In preparation for the PIT count, the CSS Homeless Outreach Team aggressively conducts street outreach in attempt to locate the homeless camps and unsheltered individuals throughout Akron.  This requires the Homeless Outreach staff to go out in the early in the morning to search wooded areas, under bridges, parks, abandoned buildings, etc.  On the day of the PIT count, the Homeless Outreach Team visits these locations and pass out needed items such as socks, snacks, and gift cards in attempt to collect information as well as engage individuals to stop by the Homeless Outreach Drop-in Center to determine if they are eligible for additional services. 

According to the 2015 PIT count data for Summit County, there were 236 families in shelter and 17 families that were unsheltered, meaning they were living in a place not meant for human habitation such as an abandoned building or a car, for example.  Of these families counted, there were 171 individuals under the age of 18 who were in shelters.  Ten of these youth were unsheltered.  When looking solely at individuals, there were 393 homeless individuals living in shelters in 2015, and 102 unsheltered for a total of 495 homeless individuals in Summit County.

On January 26, 2016, the 2016 PIT count occurred.  Data for this year will be available in the upcoming months.  This important data helps our community plan and understand how individuals and families are being served by the homeless programs within Summit County and is a factor when determining how funding is used throughout the community.   

Individuals wishing further information about the Homeless Outreach Program or wishing to refer someone to the program may call the Homeless Outreach office at 330-762-4663.