Each year, New York City conducts a point-in-time (PIT) count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless adults, families, and youth based on the guidelines put forth by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Since 2015, NYC agencies, runaway and homeless youth (RHY) providers, and advocates have collaborated to improve upon the traditional PIT methodology for counting homeless youth. The NYC Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) and the Center for Innovation through Data Intelligence (CIDI) have coordinated these efforts.
In 2016, the youth count was expanded to include more locations, greater outreach to community partners, and youth participation in the planning process.
During the count, program staff and/or volunteers at participating programs aim to ask every youth who came into the program or were encountered during outreach to complete a short survey. Participating programs include drop-in centers, outreach teams, housing programs, emergency shelters, community centers, community-based probation sites, and public schools. The survey includes information about where the youth spent the night on the night of the PIT count, as well demographic and other questions about their housing status