The Orange County Partnership to End Homelessness will conduct a census of the local homeless population on January 25.

This census is part of the Point-in-Time count, which is administered once a year by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Corey Root, the homeless programs coordinator in Orange County, explained that the purpose of the PIT count is to account for US citizens who are “the most vulnerable of the most vulnerable.”

Eighty homeless people were identified in Orange County during the census of 2016. Root noted that 15 of those 80 individuals were living without shelter.

Data gleaned from the PIT count is used by the federal government to address homelessness nationwide, but the local goal, as interpreted by Root, is to get the homeless population “back into permanent housing.”

Root claimed that five groups of volunteers will be deployed in Orange County to participate in the PIT count – three in Chapel Hill, one in Carrboro and one in Hillsborough.

Participants will undergo an evening of outdoor interactions with sheltered and unsheltered homeless people.

Orange County residents wishing to lend their time or financial support to the PIT count can find more information at