FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN)- Every year, Cumberland County’s Community Development counts the homeless population during their Point in Time count. A preliminary report found the number of homeless people in the county is up 75 percent from 2020’s count.

Cumberland County Community Development, partner agencies and 68 volunteers conducted the PIT count Jan. 26 through Jan. 27. The counted a total of 475 homeless people. The count is held annually in January to create a census of the homeless population during a 24-hour period.

2022 PIT Count

Unsheltered homeless 392
Sheltered homeless 43
Transitional housing 40

In 2021, the volunteers counted a total of 54 homeless individuals. It’s likely an undercount as PIT was restricted to emergency shelters only due to COVID-19.

However, in 2020 PIT counted a total of 297 homeless people. Of those, 165 were unsheltered, 38 were emergency shelters and 94 were in transitional housing.

The county describes unsheltered homeless as those who are living in conditions that are uninhabitable for humans such as vehicles or under bridges. Sheltered homeless are those who are in facilities such as emergency shelters, domestic violence shelters, and motels or hotels. Transitional housing is supportive housing used to facilitate the movement of homeless individuals and families to permanent housing. 

During the count, volunteers donated items such as gloves, knitted hats, and hygiene kits to homeless individuals.