Two weeks from tonight, New York City will embark on its annual HOPE effort where volunteers will engage a small number of those living on the street. For four days afterward the city will conduct the Youth Count, a tally of homeless youth primarily conducted through post-HOPE surveys of a limited number of youth-serving organizations.
The number of street-homeless youth found during the one-night HOPE effort and post-HOPE surveys will generate a “baseline” estimate used by federal officials to judge progress in the federal goal of ending youth homelessness by 2020. This number will also, most likely, be used as the official number of street-homeless youth in New York City for years to come.
The stakes of a single tally of the city’s homeless youth have never been higher.