HUD requires every community to conduct a yearly count of people staying in shelters or other homeless programs. On odd-numbered years, such as 2015, communities are also required to count un-sheltered homeless persons, too (though the vast majority of communities choose to conduct annual un-sheltered counts).
‘The reality is that there are lot more people that are at-risk or meet other definitions of homeless,’ said Monarch Housing’s Taiisa Kelly.
For example, “Keith St. Clair, 53, who has been living at The Center in Asbury Park for four months. In the three years since he last had a home to call his own, St. Clair told the Asbury Park Press that he’s spent countless nights sleeping at friends’ apartments.”
Despite the count happening on a point in time in January and February with very cold weather, Kelly maintains that the count is a “valuable tool to measure the problem.”
“If you are sleeping outside in the middle of January then you really have no other options,” she said.