Annual Point-in-Time Count


What is the Point-in-Time Count?

The Point-in-Time (PIT) count is an annual unduplicated count of people experiencing homelessness on a single night in January.  

As the greater Denver region’s Coordination of Care entity, the Metro Denver Homeless Initiative (MDHI) is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to administer a count each January. MDHI does so in coordination with the seven metro area counties. 

The Point-In-Time count helps counties determine the scope of homelessness so they can plan and fund critical response efforts to aid those experiencing homelessness in their communities. It is only one measure of the number of people experiencing homelessness and does not include those at risk of becoming homeless, such as people staying with friends and family or paying to stay in a motel. 

Results from the PIT Count will be released by MDHI later this summer.

2022 PIT Count

This year, Denver County will conduct a full observational count from 4 to 10 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 25: 

  • The Denver Department of Housing Stability will coordinate 25 teams of two people to visually count all those experiencing unsheltered homelessness.  

  • This count will include individuals sleeping unsheltered on the streets, the number of tents, and the number of vehicles with people living in them. 

  • Additionally, people staying in Safe Outdoor Spaces are considered unsheltered by HUD, and will therefore be reported as part of Denver’s unsheltered numbers. 

  • The count of those sleeping in Denver’s shelter system (including safe haven, transitional housing, and emergency shelters) is conducted using data from the region’s Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) or via mobile survey for agencies not currently using HMIS. 

The observational count will be followed over the next week by outreach teams surveying a representative sample of individuals to help determine demographic information. A minimum of 10% of those observed in the Jan. 25 count must be surveyed. 

In 2021, the Point-In-Time survey counted 3,752 individuals experiencing homelessness who were staying in Denver shelters (an 18% increase since 2020). Because of the unique challenges the COVID-19 pandemic created, there was no count of those experiencing unsheltered homelessness in 2021. However, previous years’ data shows that about 24% of the total people experiencing homelessness were unsheltered (or an estimated 1,185 in 2021), and therefore, we estimate there are approximately 5,000 people experiencing homelessness in Denver on any given day. 

The unsheltered count is even more important this year because we were unable to do one last year during the pandemic. This year’s count will also serve as the baseline for the Denver Department of Housing Stability’s Five-Year Strategic Plan goals. 

For more info, visit