PIT Count 2021 Alternatives

ECHO and the Austin/Travis County community will not be conducting an in-person unsheltered Point in Time (PIT) Count in 2021 due to the pandemic. Instead, we’re asking community members to volunteer your time and energy in a safe way that works for you. It’s simple: Pick an option below, spend the first few weeks of January preparing your donation or other engagement, then deliver them to the organization you’re supporting on Jan. 28. Be sure to take photos and videos to share with your networks to get others involved!

Here are some options from our Continuum of Care partners (Note: list will be updated throughout January):

  • Every donation is a PIT (Pretty Important Thing) that really Counts!



    PIT Count Volunteers do important work every year in January. The time and effort donated during those annual cold, dark nights supports the work of the many nonprofits working to end homelessness in our community. With no PIT count in 2021 for safety reasons, we are being given a chance to present an optional way to help this year. Our one request isn’t boots on the ground, or shopping and packing items—but it really is a Pretty Important Thing/PIT! Front Steps manages multiple programs to end homelessness, as well as the downtown shelter (the ARCH)—and we house hundreds of individuals a year from the shelter/streets. Our biggest need right now is rental assistance dollars to help clients secure and keep stable housing. If you would like to do something this year to mark your traditional PIT Count participation, helping with a donation to Front Steps would do the most good. It isn’t as righteous as counting in teams in the middle of the night, or as fun as assembling packs of things to give to clients, but our focus is a housing plan and ending homelessness—and rent and deposits and utilities require cash. Honestly, COVID closures have resulted in many of our recently housed clients losing all or part of their income…and no one wants the work of those clients and their case managers to be undone because someone is short on the rent. Whatever nonprofit/menu option you choose to commemorate the 2021 PIT Count moment, it will be put to good use. If you choose to donate to Front Steps to help pay the rent, we thank you on behalf of our clients and staff! Happy New Year, and thank you for being someone who has been part of the work of ending homelessness!


    Welcome Home kits for formerly homeless older adults

    Family Eldercare provides essential services to protect, care for, and maintain connection among older adults, veterans, adults with disabilities, and their caregivers.  Our Rapid Rehousing for Older Adults program is the only service in the city tailored to the unique needs of older adults, and we need your help transitioning our clients experiencing homelessness into a stable home.  You can help end homelessness for older adults by making sure that on move-in day they have a new bed, linens, pots and pans, and more of the essentials that are needed to make a home.  Sign-up to be paired with a Family Eldercare case manager and create a warm welcome home for an older adult.  You can also donate and Family Eldercare will create the Welcome Home kits and deliver your welcome wishes on your behalf.  


    Create and Deliver an Activity Box


    You can help the kids we serve at SAFE by providing boxes filled with supplies for crafts, sports, game nights, and movie nights. Click here to see your options and to sign up.

  • Create Winter Care Packages or Hygiene Kits; donate $27 for a Monthly Phone Plan



    Integral Care has been supporting our neighbors experiencing homelessness for over 20 years, with a goal of moving people into housing as quickly as possible. Specialized teams build relationships with people living on the street in order to connect them to services that support their mental and physical health – providing direct care in the community and at their clinics. Services include medicine, counseling, case management, shelter and housing. Integral Care also provides basic needs such as shoes, clothing, food and water. You can help Integral Care support our neighbors experiencing homelessness. Create a Winter Care Package to help keep someone warm and safe. Create a Hygiene Kit that includes the essential items we all need for personal care. Donate $27 for a Monthly Phone Plan that keeps someone virtually connected to the care they need to rebuild their health and well-being.


    Create a Resiliency Kit for residents of the Esperanza Community

    Many people show up to the Esperanza Community without the resources needed to survive here. Some have nothing more than the clothes on their back. We have designed these Resiliency Kits to provide people with basic needs so that they can get to work with TOOF building a healthier, more dignified life for themselves. Donating a Resiliency Kit to TOOF is a great way to make an impact by offering a strong start to a new resident at the Esperanza Community. You can order the items HERE and have them shipped directly to us, OR buy the items yourself and package them together for a fun volunteer opportunity at home!

  • Create Winter Care Kits or Snack Kits; collect and donate pantry items; order needed items from our Amazon wish list



    Caritas of Austin’s mission is to prevent and end homelessness in Greater Austin. During times such as these, the people we serve are often at higher risk. While the pandemic continues, most in person volunteer opportunities are on hold but you can help meet the needs of the community we serve. Your compassionate gift of food, toiletries, or household items will provide someone with the essentials they need to stay safe, well, or housed at a crucial time. Snack kits are given to individuals experiencing homelessness that come to Caritas of Austin. Winter Care kits will help individuals in homelessness keep warm this winter. Food for the pantry will help to ensure that our housing clients have access to healthy groceries as they transition out of homelessness toward stability. Household items help our recently housed clients by providing the essential items we all need in our homes.

  • Browse and donate what people experiencing homelessness need from our Amazon wish list; share your support for our How to House campaign



    ECHO is making it easy for you to help providers get people experiencing homelessness the supplies they need. The wish list is constantly updated with input from our partners, so you know your donation fills a critical need. Order what you can, and it will be shipped directly to ECHO to distribute to our partners. You can also make a monetary donation, and all the funds we receive through this donation form go directly to purchasing additional supplies to keep people safe and healthy. In addition, please explore the How to House campaign, our new partnership with the Austin Justice Coalition, and share your support.