Department of Psychiatry assists with O`ahu Point in Time Count 2020

PIT Kaka`ako Survey Team: Zainisha Ogwaro, Kupu; Robin Zeller, Psychiatry; Josh Fuentes and Morgan Esarey, Partners in Care; and Kalani Napihaa, Institute for Human Services.

The US Housing and Urban Development “requires that Continuums of Care conduct an annual count of people experiencing homelessness who are sheltered in emergency shelter, transitional housing, and Safe Havens on a single night,” and “The Point-in-Time (PIT) count is a count of sheltered and unsheltered people experiencing homelessness on a single night in January.” The PIT surveys provide data which assist local and federal entities to direct resources strategically to areas and populations with higher need. Both counts are conducted nationally and administered locally.

On Thursday January 23rd, Partners in Care and numerous other organizations which assist unstably housed individuals conducted the O`ahu 2020 Point in Time Count. Mr. Robin Zeller of the Department of Psychiatry Research Division participated in the PIT for Region 2, which includes the JABSOM Kaka`ako area where DoP Research is located. Robin is a Program Associate on our youth substance use needs assessment project, which focuses on the intersection of substance use and homelessness, among other life challenges.

Robin met with his assigned team of volunteers and outreach workers working at 4:00 am (see photo). Together, they drove and walked through the area surrounding Ala Moana Beach Park meeting people as they began their day. Many of the people encountered were in regular contact with Kalani, the outreach worker helping Robin’s group, and were aware that the survey was taking place that morning. Both those who agreed to take the survey and those who did not were very kind and understanding; the morning involved many happy moments and laughs along with serious discussions about the experience of unstable housing. Robin has said, “I very much enjoyed the opportunity to work with individuals from multiple agencies and learning more about the ways people experience unsheltered situations in Honolulu.” For more information about the Point in Time Count, visit the Partners in Care webpage where they describe the study, have reports from previous years, and answer common questions.