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The Point-in-Time Count Is Meant to be a Snapshot of Unhoused Populations. How Clear is That Picture?

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Homeless tents and homeless people are seen by the Polk Street near the City Hall during rainy day in San Francisco. (Anadolu via Getty Images)

Every other January, hundreds of volunteers hit the stress across the Bay Area and attempt to count the number of unhoused people and families. The point-in-time count offers a snapshot into the scope of homelessness in different communities, but most experts agree the methodology is often inaccurate and flawed. The preliminary data for this year’s count is finally out and reveals jumps and declines in different cities across the Bay Area. We’ll talk to experts to demystify the counting process, understand this year’s numbers and discuss how data collection could be improved.

Guests:

Sydney Johnson, reporter, KQED News

Elester Hubbard, outreach supervisor, San Francisco Homeless Outreach Team (SFHOT)

Paul Boden, executive director, Western Regional Advocacy Project (WRAP)

Dr. Margot Kushel, professor of medicine, UCSF; director, UCSF Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative

Christin Evans, vice chair, San Francisco's Homelessness Oversight Commission; owner, Booksmith; co-owner, the Alembic bar

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