Find us on GivePulse to stay up to date on all our volunteer opportunities.
GivePulse is an online platform that helps connect people to volunteer opportunities in their community. Once you join our GivePulse group, you’ll begin receiving notifications of volunteer opportunities with ECHO and many of our community partners.
ECHO’s primary volunteer opportunity is with the Point in Time (PIT) Count, which takes place in January each year. The next PIT Count is January 25, 2020. Sign-ups for the PIT Count will begin in the fall of 2019.
General information on how you can help people experiencing homelessness
What is the point in time count?
The Point In Time Count (PIT Count) is an annual census to collect data on the needs of people experiencing homelessness in our community. One night/early morning every January, hundreds of volunteers canvas the entire Austin/Travis County area in order to survey and count every person sleeping outside. Data from the PIT Count is combined with data on people sleeping in local shelters to form a more complete picture of homelessness in our community. This information is used to help secure the resources necessary to end homelessness in Austin/Travis County.
How you can help
The PIT Count is a large undertaking that requires the support of hundreds of volunteers. To achieve our goal of counting every person sleeping outside, we divide the Austin/Travis County area into 30-40 sections with 15-20 people assigned to canvas each section. We will begin recruiting volunteers in September for a few different roles.
General Volunteers are assigned to a section and work under the direction of a Team Lead to locate and survey individuals sleeping outside on the night of the PIT Count. General Volunteers are responsible for staying in communication with their Team Lead and completing the assigned trainings prior to the count. Anyone over the age of 18 may sign up to be a General Volunteer.
Team Leads are responsible for managing a team of 15-20 people. Leading up to the count, Team Leads become familiar with and scout their assigned area and communicate with their team members. On the night of the PIT Count, Team Leads oversee and give direction to team members to ensure their entire assigned section is covered. Previous experience as a General Volunteer is highly recommended for anyone interested in acting as a Team Lead.
Donation Coordinators are responsible for collecting, storing, and packaging donations to hand out to people surveyed during the PIT Count. Donations generally include items like hygiene supplies, socks, and snacks. The Donation Coordinator role will require a significant amount of work leading up to the PIT Count and is well suited for motivated individuals with a background in fundraising or soliciting donations.