PLNU Helps Count Homeless

Thursday, January 27, 2011

(San Diego, Calif. – Jan. 27, 2011) – In 2005, the Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU) Research and Data Advisory Roundtable (RADAR) group helped design methodology for the Point in Time Count (PITC), a way to count those who are homeless and describe who they are. 

On Friday, Jan. 28, over 500 volunteers – students from PLNU, representatives from the community, media, churches, schools, businesses, police and fire, veterans, environmentalists, and formerly homeless persons – will participate in San Diego County’s annual PITC. 

Volunteers will make up count “teams” who have been trained and assigned responsibility for certain census track maps. Under the direction of the Regional Task Force on the Homeless (RTFH), volunteers will count sheltered and unsheltered homeless people, as well as gather demographic information that will help the task force better understand the issue of homelessness.

Students at PLNU have long been involved in homeless outreach in the community, so working alongside the RTFH is a natural fit. Patricia Leslie is a major channel for that relationship. Leslie is a member of the RTFH’s board of directors, as well as director of PLNU’s social work program and associate professor of sociology and social work. One of her roles at PLNU is connecting students with homelessness in San Diego.

“PLNU was the birthplace of the research method for the PITC.  Being involved means much on many levels. It shows how a place of learning is also the hands of action inspired by the heart of Christ. Our students get to learn research methods in action; macro-level community social work (who is involved and how they are motivated, welfare policy and politics); what a federal mandate ‘looks and feels’ like at the implementation level; not to mention a chance to come along side our neighbors,” said Leslie.

# # #

Point Loma Nazarene University is a selective liberal arts university located in San Diego, California, and sits on a 90-acre campus overlooking the Pacific Ocean. In addition to more than 50 undergraduate areas of study, PLNU offers graduate program regional centers in Bakersfield, Arcadia, Mission Valley (San Diego) and the Inland Empire. Founded in 1902, PLNU serves more than 3,500 students.