Resource Detail

A Guide to Counting Sheltered Homeless People (Revised 2012)


This guide describes recommended methods for collecting data on sheltered homeless populations, that is, homeless persons residing in emergency shelter, transitional housing or Safe Havens. Originally published in 2006, this version, updated in January 2012, clarifies HUD standards for counting homeless persons moving forward.

The intended audience for this guide is individuals and agencies involved in the CoC planning process, state and local government agencies, and regional councils of government. The guide will be useful in determining a process for collecting high-quality data on the number and characteristics of sheltered homeless people in your community. If your CoC has experience with conducting a point-in-time (PIT) sheltered count, you are encouraged to review this guidance and consider how your process and methods might be improved or how to start using HMIS for this purpose.

Resource Links

Resource Title
A Guide to Counting Sheltered Homeless People (Revised 2012)
Product Developer
Product Type
Guidebooks, Tools and Templates
Date Published
January 2012
Author/ Organization
Abt Associates
Program Monitoring
Data Analysis and Performance Measurement
Point-In-Time (PIT)
Emergency Shelter
Transitional Housing
Data Collection
Families Experiencing Chronic Homelessness
Families Experiencing Homelessness
Individuals and Families Experiencing Domestic Violence
Individuals Experiencing Chronic Homelessness
Individuals Experiencing Homelessness
Individuals Living with Substance Use and Abuse
Individuals Living with HIV/AIDS
Individuals Living with Severe Mental Illness
Veterans Experiencing Homelessness
Youth Experiencing Homelessness
data collection
data quality
point-in-time count