Community  Data

2018 Athens-Clarke County Homeless Point-in-Time (PIT) Count

all information gathered from ACC HCD 2018 PIT Count

What is the Point-in-Time Count?

The Point-in-Time (PIT) count is a count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons on a single night in January. HUD requires that all Continuums of Care, such as Athens-Clarke County (ACC), conduct an annual count of homeless persons who are sheltered in emergency shelter, transitional housing, and safe havens on a single night as well as those living in places not meant for human habitation, in cars, on the streets, etc. This year, ACC’s Sheltered Homeless PIT count took place on the evening of January 24, 2018 and the Unsheltered Homeless PIT count took place on the morning of January 25, 2018.

Why is the PIT Important?

PIT counts are important because they establish the dimensions of the problem of homelessness and help policymakers and program administrators track progress toward the goal of ending homelessness. Collecting data on homelessness and tracking progress can inform public opinion, increase public awareness, and help communities create and provide resources that will lead to the eradication of the problem.



How are the Sheltered Homeless Counted?

As noted above, Athens-Clarke County conducted the sheltered PIT count on the night of January 24, 2018. Athens-Clarke County Housing & Community Development (HCD) staff collaborated with the following agencies to conduct the sheltered count: Athens-Area Homeless Shelter, Bigger Vision, Interfaith Hospitality Network, Live Forward (formerly AIDS Athens), Project Safe, and The Salvation Army. PIT count participants collected the necessary information through Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) data, provider-level surveys, and client-level surveys.

As all of the local emergency shelters and transitional housing programs participated in this year’s count, ACC was able to conduct a complete census count for the sheltered homeless population. The following information and methods were used to de-duplicate the count of the total number of people included in the sheltered count: comparison of personally identified information (PII), comparison of unique client identifiers (not PII), and interview/survey questions with screening questions (e.g. have you already completed a count survey).

How are the Unsheltered Homeless Counted?

ACC conducted the unsheltered PIT count on the morning of January 25, 2018. To complete this task, ACC HCD staff collaborated with Action Ministries, Inc., Advantage Behavioral Health Systems, and volunteers from the Athens-Clarke County Homeless Coalition.

To count the total number of people in the unsheltered population during the PIT count, ACC staff and the partners listed above conducted service-based counts and surveyed various locations where homeless individuals often congregate. In the areas canvassed, the unsheltered PIT count volunteers surveyed all people encountered during the count; however, only those that identified as homeless were included in the PIT count.

To capture an accurate unsheltered PIT count, volunteers also surveyed Our Daily Bread at mealtimes to collect the information of those missed while surveying the known encampment areas.

Similarly to the sheltered PIT count, the following information and methods were used to de-duplicate the count of the total number of people included in the unsheltered count: comparison of personally identified information (PII), comparison of unique client identifiers (not PII), and interview/survey questions with screening questions (e.g. have you already completed a count survey).


The number of homeless individuals and families counted in the 2018 PIT count decreased by 11% from last year’s count. In the 2017 PIT count, The ACC Department of Housing & Community Development (HCD) totaled 239 unique individuals – 146 sheltered homeless individuals and families and 93 unsheltered homeless individuals. This year, ACC HCD staff and PIT volunteers counted 212 unduplicated individuals – 166 sheltered homeless individuals and families (14% more people) and 46 unsheltered homeless individuals (51% fewer people).

The Point-in-Time Count Over the Last Three Years

Demographic Details

Gender: 57% are men, 43% are women

Age: 69% are adults, 5% are young adults (ages 18-24), and 26% are children Race: 35% are white, 57% are African-American, and 8% are American Indian, Asian, or Multiple Races

Hispanic/Latino: 5% identify as Hispanic/Latino

Veteran: 7% served in the military

Demographic Trends

Homeless Population by Gender


Homeless Population by Age Category


Homeless Population by Race


Barriers to Housing Details

Chronically homeless: 27% of adults surveyed are Chronically Homeless Mental Illness: 32% of adults surveyed suffer with a Serious Mental Illness Substance Abuse: 13% of adults surveyed suffer a Substance Abuse Disorder Domestic Violence Survivors: 12% of individuals surveyed were actively fleeing from Domestic Violence

Barriers to Housing Trends

Athens-Clarke County Homeless Inventory Count and Resources

What Emergency Shelter Beds are Available in Athens-Clarke County?

Agency:                                                Bed Count:                               Target Population:
Athens Area Homeless Shelter    24 beds in 6 family rooms   Families
Athens Area Homeless Shelter    35 beds in 10 units                 Families
Bigger Vision                                     35 beds (Oct-April)                 Single men and                                                                                                                            women
Interfaith Hospitality Network   14 beds for 3 families            Families
Project Safe                                        16 beds                                       Single women                                                                                                                              and families
Salvation Army                                 70 beds total                            Single men, women,                                                                                                      and families
Live Forward (Hotel Vouchers)     3 beds (based on need)        Single men,                                                                                                                                    women, and                                                                                                                                   families
Total:                                                    162 Year Round Beds, 35 Seasonal Beds


What other housing options are available in Athens-Clarke County?

Through local, state, and federal grants, ACC has maintained funds available for Rapid-Rehousing and Permanent Supportive Housing programs. During this year’s PIT count, ACC counted 59 people housed in Rapid-Rehousing funded units and 129 people housed in Permanent Supportive Housing units.

Rapid Rehousing assistance provides HUD homeless individuals living in shelters or on the streets with short to mid-term financial assistance and support to become self-sufficient. While receiving financial assistance to pay for things such as rent, deposits and utilities, all program participants receive intensive case management to foster stability, self-sufficiency, and independence.

Permanent Supportive Housing provides long-term housing for people who would otherwise be chronically homeless, demonstrate need for long-term housing support, and have a chronic and disabling mental health or physical health problem. Advantage Behavioral Health Systems and Live Forward are the two Permanent Supportive Housing providers in Athens-Clarke County.

Homelessness in the Athens-Clarke County School District

The school district Homeless Liaison provides social services to homeless families and children throughout the Athens-Clarke County School System. On average, Katie serves 200 families and 440 children annually. All of those assigned to the Homeless Liaison's caseload are families living in shelters, at imminent risk of homelessness, or living in doubled-up housing. Per HUD guidelines, those living in doubled-up housing are not included in the PIT. Please note that there are very few resources for those living in doubled-up housing or “couch surfing”.