According to Jocoy, too much emphasis is placed on collecting point in time count data and not enough on actually using it. Says Jocoy,
“We know the problem exists. How often do we need to keep putting numbers towards demonstrating that it exists?”
But advocates would argue that counts are important in keeping awareness around the problem raised for the general public and public officials.
Jocoy sees a lack of evidence about how the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) uses the data. While cities use the data to apply for funding to keep shelters and programs to assist the homeless running, there could be more federal leadership about how the numbers can be used make local efforts to end homelessness more effective.
And lastly, Jocoy makes the case that the counts across the country recruit and use large numbers of volunteers but is there a more effective way to use volunteers that works to actually end homelessness?
The next Point in Time Count in NJ is scheduled for January 30, 2013.