HOPE Survey : Penny Landers

On February 8th some¬†classmates from Ben Frisch’s statistics class and I went to PS41 to participate in the HOPE Survey. HOPE is an organization that one night¬†a year in the middle of winter goes out onto the NYC streets to count and survey the city’s homeless population who are not sleeping in shelters. This is done in association with the Department of Homeless Services to provide an accurate picture of how many chronically homeless people there are in the city. Though this initiative takes place all over New York City, including the five boroughs and subways, our involvement only had us survey a few residential streets in the Greenwich Village area. We went out late at night between the hours of about 10:00pm and 2:00am, which is a rather cold time in the middle of winter and unsafe for anyone to be sleeping outside in those conditions. However, our group did not encounter any homeless people in the section that we surveyed. Though we didn’t come across any, the other group from our school did. Even though we didn’t see any ourselves, we still collected important information regarding statistics of where there are homeless people in the city, and areas where they are not found as often. This relates to the work we do in class because it looks at proportions of where in the city are larger concentrations of homeless people. I found the timing of the annual survey to be interesting because it occurred during the part of the year when it was hardest to be outside because of the cold. Being out in the cold for even a few hours was harsh and made me more aware of what some homeless people have to struggle with living on the streets. However, there may have been fewer people on the streets for this reason, so I think it would be interesting to see what the statistics for homeless people on the streets are at another time of the year.

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