MUSCATINE, Iowa–In the early hours of Jan. 26, Muscatine Center for Social Action staff and volunteers, a group of 20 individuals, conducted a Point in Time Count within Muscatine. The annual Point in Time Count is performed to identify the number of both sheltered and unsheltered individuals experiencing homelessness. Volunteers searched for people under bridges, in cars, tents, parks, and on the streets. This annual count provides a snapshot of homelessness on a single night and is preformed across the country. While it is not possible to count every homeless person, the methodology includes outreach efforts targeting known areas and general canvassing to capture the best picture possible.
The annual homeless count is a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requirement for the local Continuum of Care (CoC) funding process. As lead agency of the southeast region, MCSA coordinates the count for Muscatine County and collaborates with local and surrounding agencies to gather and submit information from the count to HUD. Funds received from HUD help each agency provide permanent housing, outreach, and supportive services to individuals experiencing homelessness.
During the count, no individuals were found outdoors. MCSA’s trained staff and volunteers were prepared to share the resources available to those experiencing an episode of homelessness. Blessing bags with hygiene products, food, water, socks, gloves, hats and more were prepared by the Tipton First United Church of Christ. We would like to thank them for their generosity and support of our efforts to end homelessness.
Muscatine Center for Social Action would like to extend a thank you to all of the great volunteers who participated in the count with them. They would like to remind the community that emergency sheltering is available to all in need in Muscatine County. The Point in Time Count is an extremely important tool in preventing and ending homelessness within our community.