“Counting the number of people sleeping outside or in shelters on a single night is impacted by variables like weather, participation and volunteers, MDHI Executive Director Jamie Rife said in a statement accompanying the preliminary report. While the point-in-time count gives people a picture of homelessness on a single night, the ultimate goal is to have comprehensive, real-time regional data, Rife said.
Dormish, who is minister of presence, justice and memory at The Refuge in Broomfield, attributes the increase to a different counting method.
In years past, volunteers could only count people who they were able to talk to, but 2022’s count used observation-based counting so that volunteers can count people sleeping in their cars or in tents, even if they’re not able to speak with them.
“It’s not that we have 230% more people who are unhoused or experiencing homelessness than in 2020, it’s that it’s a more accurate count of people who are unhoused,” Dormish said.”