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Nonprofits complete annual count of Fairbanks individuals experiencing homelessness

The Fairbanks community completed its annual Point-In-Time Count on January 26th.
The Fairbanks community completed its annual Point-In-Time Count on January 26th.(Alex Bengel/KTVF)
Published: Feb. 4, 2021 at 4:06 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Fairbanks community completed its annual Point-In-Time (PIT) Count on January 26th. This effort involved counting individuals experiencing homelessness in Fairbanks, including individuals in emergency shelters and transitional housing, as well as those who lack shelter altogether.

According to Mike Sanders, Housing and Homeless Coordinator with the City of Fairbanks, the effort went differently this year in that Alaska received an exemption from completing the portion of its count which concerns unsheltered individuals, so agencies in Fairbanks stepped up to do it themselves.

“The unsheltered part is, to me, is probably the most important. That’s the folks that aren’t engaged in any of the services. They’re not staying at the Rescue Mission or the [Interior Alaska] Center for Non-Violent Living, or in Love INC’s Loving Families program, or at The Door. Those are the folks that are literally on the street or in an encampment,” Sanders said.

Surveys were taken of individuals and resource information provided to them in an encampment outreach effort coordinated by The Bridge, No Limits and the Fairbanks Rescue Mission.

While official results of the count are not available at this time, Sanders explained that as the total number of those experiencing homelessness in Fairbanks has been in decline for the last four years, the number of unsheltered individuals has stayed around 50 or 60.

Sanders went on to clarify that the PIT Count is a fraction of the amount of people that are experiencing homelessness over the course of the year in Fairbanks. “It kind of tells us how well our services are going. If that number, at any given time, is lower, and we’re serving more and more people, that usually means that people are experiencing homelessness for a shorter amount of time,” he said.

More information, as well as resources for those experiencing homelessness in Fairbanks, can be found at the Fairbanks Housing and Homeless Coalition website.

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