The HOPE (https://a071-hope.nyc.gov/HOPE/welcome.aspx) count is an event that happens one day a year each year in order to really understand how many people are properly living on the streets. It works in correlation with the Department of Homeless services so as they can get an idea of how many people need to be helped out. After an hour long training at PS41, the count starts at midnight. In order to get the numbers right, groups have to meticulously ask everyone they see if they have a place to stay that night. Groups have to be especially strict as the whole survey relies on the volunteers’ work.
The HOPE survey was an incredible experience because it really made you see the amount of people that were properly living on the street as well as miserable the conditions were. The experience was made by the fact that we were interacting with real people on the street as oppose to looking at numbers on a screen. Although the count provides the city with priceless information, it is interacting with the people on the street that really made the experience valuable, and real. It felt like real, hardcore service work that was really helping not only the city out but also the people who lived on the street.