You make progress on what you measure. That’s why if we’re going to make help more people into permanent housing, we have to know how many people are homeless. And this is where volunteers like you can really help.
There is no exact way to count the number of homeless people in Austin because that number changes from day to day. Sometimes a family has a place to stay, sometimes they don’t. But Austin’s Ending Community Homeless Coalition (ECHO) tries to put a number on it every year with its “point in time” count. Much of the city’s work on addressing homelessness, like Mayor Adler’s recent Housing Heroes project, is based on this count.
That means scores of volunteers divvy up the city and search in wooded areas, under bridges, in parked cars…. all in an effort to count and classify Austin’s homeless people. And offer them help.
Volunteering is simple: You must be at least 18 years old and you must attend a two-hour training. From there, you can pick a four-hour shift on Saturday, then head out with your group. All in all, it’s just six hours of volunteering but its impact on the community is priceless.
The last few trainings are this Wednesday through Friday, Jan 20-22. The count takes place on Saturday, Jan 23, from 3 am – 9 am, so no matter which shift you choose, you’ll be done before most people are awake and still have the rest of your day.
Hundreds of volunteers are needed. Learn more and sign up now.