2023 Philadelphia PIT Count

What is the PIT Count?

PIT stands for “Point-in-Time,” and it’s a count of all sheltered and unsheltered people experiencing homelessness during a given moment. This includes counting youth and young adults. Homeless service systems nationwide take part in the count to identify the extent of homelessness throughout the country.

Why is the PIT Count important?

Continuum of Cares (CoCs) across the country conduct annual PIT Counts to identify people experiencing homelessness in their communities, like a census. This information helps assess local community needs, gaps, identify and examine trends and how to best target resources. The PIT Count also helps shape national strategy.

The PIT Count is important, but it also has its limitations. Like its name describes, the Point in Time (PIT) Count is a snapshot of one point in time, on one evening in the month of January. It only counts people who are literally homeless, not those who are couch surfing, for example.

The PIT Count is important because it shows homeless trends, and the impact communities have on reducing and ending homelessness in their communities on a yearly basis.

When is the PIT Count?

The 2023 PIT Count starts at 10pm on Wednesday, January 25th and ends on Thursday, January 26th at 10am. The Office of Homeless Services will reschedule the PIT Count if there is inclement weather or conditions.

How will Philadelphia stay safe during the 2023 PIT Count?

The Office of Homeless Services (OHS) is committed to conducting a healthy and safe Count for everyone participating in the Count. We will be providing personal protective equipment (PPE), to everyone for this year’s Count. You can review the full list of safety measures at this webpage.

How will we conduct the PIT Count?

For 2023, Philadelphia will administer the count in three ways.

  • Observational Count: Volunteers will canvas Philadelphia in designated zones and administer surveys with visible unhoused people from 10pm to 5am Wednesday night, January 25th, in designated zones in the city.
  • Youth Count: Youth volunteers (18 to 24) and other volunteers will canvas Philadelphia in designated zones and administer surveys with visible youth street homeless persons from 5am to 10am Thursday morning, January 26th, in designated zones in the city.

Who runs the PIT Count?

It’s a wonderful collaboration! The following groups all work together to make the volunteer event a success:

  • City agencies: Office of Homeless Services (OHS) and Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS)
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Philadelphia neighbors
  • Volunteers with lived experience

Why are volunteers important?

For any community to have a successful PIT Count, the key to success is volunteers.

Each group will have an experienced team lead to answer questions and guide. All volunteers will be provided training, so they are prepared to volunteer for the Count.

Many volunteers were once homeless themselves.

We encourage persons with lived experience to volunteer in the 2023 PIT Count!

How can I volunteer?

If you’re interested in volunteering for the PIT Count, please sign up at the volunteer sign up page: 2023 Volunteer Sign Up Form.

Philadelphia encourages volunteers to be fully vaccinated, submit a screening 48 hours prior to the count, provide personal protective equipment (PPE), and encourage social distancing.

If you have questions about volunteering, email janpit@phila.gov