RIVERSIDE – In just a few weeks, communities nationwide will begin conducting their annual point-in-time homeless count and survey. Up to 500 volunteers are needed to conduct Riverside County’s survey of the homeless to determine the region’s needs for homeless services and to help guide decisions about how to use resources.
The Department of Public Social Services will partner with the Riverside County Continuum of Care to conduct the one-day survey, Jan. 23. The continuum is a network of homeless-services providers in the private and public sectors. The PIT count is mandated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Riverside County’s 2018 PIT homeless count is divided into two components – a street-based count, which will take place 5:30-9:30 a.m. and a service-based count, which takes place 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Last year, approximately 500 volunteers were deployed across the region to successfully count and survey the unsheltered population. Volunteer recruitment is encouraged among neighborhood and nonprofit organizations, college students, faith-based institutions, community service clubs and social service providers. Important data will be collected on the general homeless population and subpopulations of homeless veterans, families, youth and chronically homeless individuals.
The 2017 count identified 1,638 unsheltered and 768 sheltered homeless people totaling 2,406 in Riverside County. The count increased by 11 percent from 2016 to 2017. Unsheltered homeless people include those living in places unfit for human habitation, such as on the street or in a park.
Organizations or individuals may register to help online at www.RiversideHomelessCounts.com. Questions may be directed to Donyielle Holley, the Riverside County point-in-time coordinator at (951) 358-3844 or at RivCoPIT@RivCo.org.