April 30, 2019
Contact: Gene Kennedy, Senior Public Information Specialist, DPSS
Phone: (951) 203-0343
More volunteers, new technology paint picture of 2019 homeless count
After 747 volunteers fanned out last January with a mobile app for this year’s annual Point-In-Time (PIT) homeless count, the results are in.
The 2019 count of people who are homeless in Riverside County shows a 21 percent increase compared to 2018. In all, volunteers counted a total of 2,811 individuals who are homeless compared to 2,310 in 2018.
“The record-breaking number of volunteers, along with paperless surveys helped the effort cover a wider area in the short amount of time allotted to do the count,” said Natalie Komuro, Assistant County Executive Officer of Homeless Solutions. “This updated information helps us understand where we need to stay the course on certain programs, while addressing the increased numbers of newly homeless people in underserved areas.”
Annual homeless counts provide a snapshot of homelessness. Due to the challenges in finding homeless people, however, actual numbers of homeless individuals may be higher.
This year, in partnership with the University of California Riverside (UCR) Computer and Engineering Department, data on the 2019 PIT was analyzed for Riverside County’s five supervisorial districts. Four districts saw increases in the unsheltered homeless count. District 5, which includes Moreno Valley, Perris and Banning saw a decrease in its homeless count.
The Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) has commissioned the homeless count since 2005, when the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) first required Continuum of Care to conduct a homeless PIT count.
DPSS and UCR will continue to analyze the data to better understand trends in the homeless count and provide additional easy-to-use data sets for cities.