The Board of Supervision 2012 Point in Time Survey for the Homeless, the nation’s only and largest count of homeless individuals and families, took place across the island in the early mornings from November 18-24, 2012. The count was supported by the Parish Councils-Poor Relief Departments in collaboration with the invaluable assistance of Volunteers islandwide.
Volunteers included homeless service providers, NGOs, businesses, faith based groups, government agencies and academic organizations throughout the island. The Survey was organised to cover the 4,213 square miles which covers all cities and towns on the island, reaching individuals residing in shelter (Sheltered Count) and those residing in places not meant for human habitation (Unsheltered Count).
As the lead agency for addressing Homelessness, the Board of Supervision under the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, coordinated the Homeless Count as part of a national effort to provide a current and accurate picture of Jamaica’s Homeless population. This will provide data to support the need for funding and other resources to better identify appropriate service needs for the Homeless and thus fulfil the recommendations of the Commission of Enquiry Act into the force removal of street persons. This information also helps the government better understand the character and scale of homelessness nationally. Locally, the count provides valuable information to guide the allocation of limited resources for housing and services. It is also essential for future planning to prevent and end homelessness in Jamaica.
The Board of Supervision is presently collecting the data from the respective parishes for uploading to the Information Identification Homeless System (IIHS) which will form the homeless database for information to use for analysis of findings.
The homeless count was originally scheduled to take place from November 4-10, 2012 but was delayed due to hurricane Sandy.