Point-In-Time Homeless Count



Point-in-Time Count

The Point-in-Time (PIT) Homeless Count is an annual street and shelter count to determine the number of people experiencing homelessness in Maricopa County during a given point in time. This count is part of a national effort to identify the extent of homelessness throughout the country. The count includes a brief survey to identify the needs of those experiencing homelessness in the community. MAG coordinates the PIT Count each year for the Maricopa Regional Continuum of Care. MAG serves as the hub of collaboration between the Continuum of Care and local communities. The 2018 PIT Count will take place the morning of Tuesday, January 23rd.

Why a Point-In-Time Homeless Count?

The PIT Count is an effort to learn more about the individuals and families experiencing homelessness in Maricopa County. It serves as a one-night snapshot of homelessness in the region. To accomplish community goals and make a difference in the lives of people experiencing homelessness, we need to know who they are, where they are, and understand the factors that led to their homelessness. Every January, volunteers and outreach teams from local communities collaborate to survey and count the number of homeless persons in their respective locations. With the information provided by the PIT Count, the Maricopa Regional Continuum of Care and local communities can determine how best to address homelessness. The data gathered in the count can be used to measure progress and advocate for additional resources.

Point-In-Time Homeless Street Count


PIT Count Timeline

Toggle to view details about each stage in the PIT Count process.

December 2017

December, 2017 Tasks

  • Volunteers can contact coordinators in their city or town to sign up.

January, 2018 Tasks

  • January 8-19: Coordinators throughout the region hold local trainings during this time for volunteers.
  • January 22: Centralized volunteer training held in Downtown Phoenix.
  • January 23, 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Volunteers count the number of individuals and families experiencing homelessness on the streets. Data is collected and analyzed by the Maricopa Regional Continuum of Care to measure homelessness in the region.
Summer 2018

Summer, 2018 Tasks

  • MAG submits PIT data to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Later on in the year, local data is compiled and provided to Congress as part of the Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR). The AHAR is used by HUD, Congress, additional federal departments, and the public to understand the nature and extent of homelessness.
  • MAG develops a local report for the region and publishes Point-in-Time Homeless Count Analysis.

2017 Homeless Count Overview

Total PIT Counts 2014-2017

The 2017 Point-In-Time Count identified 5,605 people experiencing homelessness in the region. Of this population, 2,059 were unsheltered and 3,546 were in shelter. The overall numbers of homeless persons have remained consistent throughout the past several years. The ability to flatline the count, despite hosting the fastest growing county in the nation, is indicative of the successful work done in Maricopa County to curb homelessness.

While the overall numbers remain steady, the report showed that the number of individuals and families living on the street went up by more than 400 people. In 2017, 2,059 people were living in "unsheltered" situations, whereas in 2016, the number was 1,646 people. This continues an upward trend in the number of people living in “unsheltered” situations over the last four years. Regionally, the number of people living on the streets has nearly doubled since 2014.

2017 Unsheltered Count Map

Unsheltered Homeless Map Maricopa County 2017
Click to enlarge

The homeless street count is critical in our collective work toward ending homelessness in the region. The results from the count will help us to better understand the widespread nature of homelessness, identify trends, and help target critical funding and services to those most in need.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton

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Human Services Planner II
Anne Scott

Human Services Planner
Kinari Patel

Human Services Planner
Margaret Wong

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About MAG

The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) is a Council of Governments (COG) that serves as the regional planning agency for the metropolitan Phoenix area.

Title VI

Title VI requires that no person in the United States of America shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity for which MAG receives federal financial assistance.

Get in Touch

  • Address: 302 N. 1st Ave., Suite 300
    Phoenix, Arizona 85003

  • Phone: (602) 254-6300

  • FAX: (602) 254-6490

  • Email: mag@azmag.gov