Point-in-Time Survey to Count Homeless - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Point-in-Time Survey to Count Homeless

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Wednesday night and Thursday, United Way of Yellowstone County is conducting its annual Point-in-Time survey, a study required by the federal government.

It's a way to provide the state with a picture of homelessness in Billings and the surrounding communities.

According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, in 2013, slightly more than 800 people were identified as homeless in Yellowstone County. But fewer than half met the federal definition of homelessness, which mainly includes people staying outside or in homeless shelters.

As United Way's impact specialist, Tess Besaw explains, homelessness is more than just living on the streets.

"Homelessness has many faces," she said. "It could be those living on the streets, could be those that are actually staying with friends and family, can be those that are just one paycheck from losing their housing."

This year, more than 2,700 surveys were handed out in Yellowstone, Big Horn and three other counties. Besaw says United Way hopes at least half of the surveys come back completed.