On Monday, February 9, 2015, members of my Statistics class and I participated in the HOPE Count Survey (https://a071-hope.nyc.gov/HOPE/welcome.aspx), which is an annual event aided by the NYC Department of Homeless Services. The point of the survey is to find out how many people are homeless in different areas of the city so they know the most beneficial places to build shelters. At around 11:00 p.m., volunteers gathered at PS41 to start training. At 12:15 a.m., we split up into small groups and started the survey. Statistics class has taught me all of the important aspects that are needed to find accurate results and avoid miscalculations when recording data. To make sure that the volunteers were truly surveying every single person they walked by, decoys were sent to our areas and acted like normal pedestrians. My group did not find one decoy, which makes me wonder if we truly did survey everyone we passed. Not only did I learn more about taking data for a statistics project, but I also learned about the importance of caring for those who are not fortunate enough to have a roof over their heads every night.
I pass by people without a home almost every day, but I never had such personal encounters until I participated in the survey. Although no homeless people wanted to go to a shelter that night, many of them expressed their gratitude because of our service as well as those who were fortunate to have a home. Not only did I learn more about counting data for statistics, but I helped the city with a large problem that we need to fix as soon as possible.