The National Coalition for the Homeless released a series called #RealFactsOnHomelessness in which they share fourteen myths related to housing, homelessness and funding opportunities. The goal is to provide accurate information to communities so that our country’s collective response to end homelessness is effective. Below are the first two myths of the series: 

Myth 1: HUD Point-in-Time (PIT) numbers are an accurate
count of people experiencing homelessness in the
United States.
Facts: The PIT count is only a snapshot of people experiencing homelessness in one night in January. It is generally acknowledged that the PIT is a vast undercount because it relies on HUD’s narrow definition of homelessness, it’s performed by volunteers, it relies on self-reporting, it undercounts children, youth and families, and it fails to count people who are doubled up, sleeping in motels, in jails, staying in hospitals, or otherwise can’t be found. 

Myth 2: Coordinated Entry Systems (CES) required by
HUD are connecting more people with more housing
Facts: In theory, CES systems should be matching
people experiencing homelessness with appropriate
and available housing and service resources. However, in many communities, these systems create long waiting lists, fail to consider unique circumstances like geographical preferences when making referrals, are ill-suited to target specific resources to targeted populations, and are often managed by entities that do not have direct relationships or meaningful contacts with the people the system is intended to serve. CES systems with limited housing resources create bottlenecks that potentially give people experiencing homelessness a false hope that they may obtain housing, when such likelihood is limited. Even the best hotel reservation system in the world is useless if there is never, or rarely, a vacant room to reserve. Unfortunately, that is the case for most communities implementing CES.

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