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Volunteers Needed for the January 2024 Point-in-Time Count



Billings, Montana – Every January, the Billings community’s homeless population is tracked by the nationwide Point-in-Time count. The Downtown Billings Alliance needs volunteers’ assistance to finish the census.

Volunteers for the Point-in-Time Count will gather information via a survey on next Thursday to help assess how much funding Yellowstone County needs to better serve its homeless population.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development conducts the count, according to Kody Christensen, Research Coordinator for the Downtown Billings Alliance, to determine the number of people living in our city without a housing permit or who sleep on the streets.

According to Christensen, volunteers are a crucial component of this procedure. He hopes to count even more people without a place to live this year than the forty volunteers who came forward last year to count 598 of them.

He went on to say that the number of homeless people normally rises annually and that it is crucial to ensure that they are fully counted because that is how the state gets financing for services that assist them.

“What we are looking at is when we can bring more funding to the state of Montana, that means that Yellowstone County can put an ask to the state Continuum of Care and potentially receive funds either expand services that are already here or potentially start new ones that we don’t have to fill a gap in current services like a low barrier shelter,” said Christensen.

Not only does it aid in the establishment of resources, but it also gives volunteers a new perspective on the effects of homelessness.

“I think one of the biggest things that we see from the volunteers is that they may not have experience working with these clients and it is a great way to get to know them and everyone has a story. And I think it’s important to meet people where they are. I’ve seen a lot of hearts change, once they connect with these people. It’s something as little as I missed a couple of payments and now, I’m on the street. I think it’s opened a lot of eyes and hearts to see that someone who had a few bad weeks is now on the streets, how can I help them,”

Volunteers are asked to gather for orientation and training on Thursday, January 25 at 4 p.m. in the HRDC parking lot.

Kody can be contacted by email at with any questions.



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