New York City conducts annual survey of unsheltered homeless

Mayor Bill de Blasio participates in the 2020 HOPE survey with HUD Secretary Ben Carson and DHS Commissioner Steven Banks in Midtown Manhattan.
Mayor Bill de Blasio participates in the 2020 HOPE survey with HUD Secretary Ben Carson and DHS Commissioner Steven Banks in Midtown Manhattan.
Michael Appleton / Mayoral Photography Office
Elected officials including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and New York City Department of Homeless Services Commissioner Steven Banks participated in this year's count.

New York City conducts annual survey of unsheltered homeless

The Homeless Outreach Population Estimate survey is often criticized for not accurately estimating the number of street homeless throughout the year.
January 29, 2020

From Monday night into early Tuesday morning, thousands of volunteers were out on the streets of New York City conducting this year’s federally mandated annual survey of unsheltered homeless people. 

The Homeless Outreach Population Estimate survey, otherwise known as the HOPE survey, provides key data that is used to inform initiatives to help the street homeless as well as for federal funding. Last year’s survey found 3,588 people were sleeping outside – a marginal decline from the 2017 count.
The survey is known to have its limitations for painting a picture of the unsheltered homeless. It’s a point-in-time count hosted during the winter, when homeless people are more likely to seek out shelter from the cold, according to advocates. 

Its significance is still pronounced given that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has placed an increasing focus on street homelessness. This year’s count will likely be used to reflect on the success of his initiatives, though many of them have only recently been announced. The survey results will be released in the spring.

NYN Media reporter Kay Dervesh
Kay Dervishi
is a staff reporter at NYN Media.
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