Homeless individuals in Butler County to be counted Wednesday night
The Butler County Local Housing Options Team will embark on the annual Point-in-Time Count on Wednesday night, to get a census of the number of homeless people living in the county.
Allyson Rose, housing coordinator and chairwoman of the housing options team, said the count is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development each January.
Four outreach teams will canvass the county Wednesday night, covering the City of Butler and Butler Township, the Cranberry Township area, Buffalo Township, and the Slippery Rock and Moraine State Park area.
“If we locate someone who is unsheltered, the primary goal is to make sure they are OK and provide other resources and support,” Rose said. “We would always offer safe housing, make sure that they have items they need, whether that's providing a tent or sleeping bags or food.”
In 2021, the team counted two homeless individuals, and in 2022 they found five, according to Rose.
Rose also said the team has enough volunteers for the count this year. Those volunteers will speak with people outside, in their cars or in other areas not meant for overnight occupancy to get this year’s count.
“A brief training is provided to discuss safety, how to approach individuals, how to complete the surveys, if individuals or families are found,” Rose said. “All volunteers are connected with a team and team leader.”
Rose said the number of people going through homelessness in Butler County is lower than that of nearby counties, such as Allegheny County, because there are a number of resources for people to use if they do not have shelter.
“Our unsheltered homeless looks different than the unsheltered in Allegheny County,” Rose said. “We have a lot of emergency shelters and a lot of support for individuals. In the wintertime, individuals can double up and stay with family and friends.”
The Butler County Local Housing Options Team meets the first Tuesday of each month at Community Alliance Church, 800 Mercer Road, and can be reached by calling 724-284-5114.