The HOPE Homeless Count

On February 8th, I went with a group of students from my statistics class to the 2016 HOPE count. HOPE (Homeless Outreach Population Estimate) is an annual survey of the critically homeless population in New York City. It takes place from about 12 am – 3 am. ┬áThe survey takes place in the middle of the night in the middle of winter in order to estimate the amount of people in NYC that are inc chronically ┬áhomeless. During the count, thousands of volunteers are sent to all different parts of New York City. In their specific areas, they are instructed to go up to any person they see and fill out a survey with questions such as “Do you have a place to sleep tonight?”, ultimately making the decision if they are homeless or not. The night we went was code blue, meaning it was an extremely cold night. On a night where it is code blue, volunteers are instructed to call 911 if they believe a homeless person does not have the proper clothing or protection from the cold. Before we began, we were given an orientation on the Do’s and Don’ts of the count. We were instructed not to approach anyone on private property. We were also told we cold not force anyone to get help from 911. We also could not begin counting until it was 12 am. My group was four people. We were assigned an area in Greenwich Village. Our streets were extremely empty. We talked to about six people, only one who identified as homeless. The man was sixty years old and extremely frustrated with the system. He told us that he was taken to a homeless shelter. There, he was beat up and had his I.D. stolen. Although he wanted help, he had to meet someone for some money. He decided it was best to try and get the money first and then to try to find us later. Unfortunately, we did not see him again that night. The HOPE survey was a very interesting experience. I really liked hearing the man’s experience with being homeless. It definitely made me think New York City still has a lot of work when it comes to helping the homeless population.

One thought on “The HOPE Homeless Count

  1. We had an unusually quiet zone to survey this year. Thank you participating and putting your reflection up on the blog site.

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