On Friday, Dec. 20, Charles County Commissioner President and Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland Chair Candice Quinn Kelly and Commissioner Ken Robinson (District 1) joined Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-5); St. Mary’s County Commissioner Jack Russell; Delegates John Bohanan and Sally Jameson; Point-In-Time Survey Coordinators Kristen Olivo, Lanny Lancaster, and Sandy Washington; law enforcement and military officials; veterans service organizations; and other stakeholders at the “We All Count” Point-in Time kick-off event at the Greater Waldorf Jaycees Community Center in Waldorf. The annual Point-in-Time survey is a count of every sheltered and unsheltered individual throughout Southern Maryland, and is conducted at the end of January.

The Point-in-Time Survey will provide agencies with important data on the homeless population, which is critical for federal and state grant applications and could result in an additional 60 HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing vouchers to support veterans in Southern Maryland. There are more than 1,000 individuals and families who experience homelessness annually in our region.

“The Point-in-Time Survey is important because it helps us to obtain funding for nonprofits and volunteer groups who work so hard to care for our homeless citizens,” said Commissioner President Kelly. “This year’s survey is particularly important – we are focusing on getting an accurate count of our homeless veterans. One day those who served our country bravely will no longer be without a place to live, because ‘We All Count’.”

“We joined together because we all believe it is unacceptable that there are families and individuals experiencing homelessness in our communities and we must do everything we can to help those in need find housing,” stated Congressman Hoyer. “One of the most important things we can do to is get an accurate count of the homeless population, and that is what the Point-In-Time survey will work to achieve. A reliable count on Jan. 29 is critical to receiving federal and state assistance, including housing vouchers for homeless veterans in the region. I thank our federal and state partners for deploying the necessary resources to support this effort, as well as Commissioners in Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s Counties, our coordinators on the ground, law enforcement and military officials, veterans service organizations, and others for volunteering their time and resources to this outreach campaign. I look forward to working together to ensure a successful survey.”

“This year, because of public awareness we will be able to get a more accurate count of those that are homeless but have not reached out before for help,” said Kristen Olivo, Point-In-Time Survey Coordinator for Calvert County. “The veterans and those that are unaware of services available will benefit from this count because of increase resources being made available as a result of this count.”

“As coordinator for Charles County, this is an awesome opportunity for the community to volunteer and get involved in identifying those that are homeless and in need of help,” said Sandy Washington, Point-In-Time Survey Coordinator for Charles County. “This collaborative effort will allow us to do more than any one organization or agency could ever accomplish. We have been able to secure the assistance of our local Naval Bases, law enforcement  and a number of veteran organizations in addition to other members of the community.”

“This year’s Point-In-Time survey is so important because it will likely bring VASH vouchers to our community, which will bring relief to the many veterans who are on waiting