Each year, The Atlanta Continuum-of-Care conducts the Point-In-Time Homeless Count which gives the City and its partner agencies valuable information on the homeless population that makes it possible to strategically target resources for optimal results. The survey captures data on unsheltered homeless who are sleeping in outdoor locations such as sidewalks, parks, encampments and under bridges. The surveys provide demographic information on each homeless individual, gives insight to their homeless history and assesses individual needs that will enable the Continuum to effectively plan housing and service interventions to prevent and end homelessness in Atlanta.
I had the opportunity to volunteer in the Point in Time Count with the Atlanta Continuum-of-Care. This experience was extremely eye opening. Growing up, I didn't have a lot of exposure to homelessness and the people that are affected by it. Sitting down with people who are homeless wasn't just an eye opening experience but a rewarding one as it was an experience that challenge me and helped further grow my characters. We weren't asking mere questions, we were acknowledging that every single one of them mattered. Homelessness has no race, no gender, no age, and no stereotype. Ranging from sleeping on the streets to suffering from domestic violence, every single person in that room had a story to tell. I also thoroughly enjoyed working with my coworkers who are from other departments as well!
Molly McEaddy | RentPath Concierge
This was truly a wonderful experience. A real eye opener to be exact. So many heartfelt stories. Some people just needed someone to talk too and I felt privileged to assist. This made me be more thankful for the things I do have because I'm definitely one step away from being in their shoes if I ever lost my job. Many made me smile with their funny sense of humor. Count me in again whenever another event like this one comes up.
Courtney Brown | Operations Support Specialist, Collections II
The Point in Time Count volunteer opportunity was a very humbling experience. Having had the opportunity to ask personal questions interview style with someone I did not know, was very difficult. I had to remember why I was asking such personal questions. The answer always remained that the ultimate goal is to search for opportunities to provide better programs to persons who are having housing difficulties. This experience will be one I will never forget. It really makes me thankful for the roof that is over my head nightly.
Carissa Bernard | RentPath Concierge
There was a woman who came in wearing sunglasses and as she approach our table to be surveyed, she proceeded with caution. “What are you going to do with all this after I answer your questions?” she asked. I responded as instructed and proceeded to survey her. She still had her sunglasses on. After answering a few questions, she looked directly at me and proclaimed, “I have four daughters and I just lost my job. I have a degree!!” I asked her how old her girls were and she told me her oldest was 11 and her youngest was 5. She had slept on her friend's couch the previous night. At that moment, I felt the need to share my story with her. I told her that I was the same age, 11, when my hard working mother fell upon hard times and had personally experienced homelessness at a young age. I explained to her that was one of the reasons why I was out here today- to help.. She finally took her sunglasses off and there we were: 2 women looking at each other eye to eye. She let her guard down and trusted me as she answered very personal questions about her past and present including being honest about past domestic violence and being in and out of foster homes as a child. Everyone has a story. As I continue to work with my Rentpath family on this initiative, I am honored to do so standing side by side as we work in a variety of capacities to end homelessness. We can do it together!!!