Contact: Gene Kennedy, Senior Public Information Specialist, DPSS
Phone: (951) 203-0343
Large community effort helps Riverside County Homeless PIT Count
Thanks to a tremendous collaboration between hundreds of volunteers, cities, non-profit groups, law/code enforcement and Riverside County, Tuesday’s effort with the Point-In-Time (PIT) Homeless Count and Survey wrapped up with no reported problems. Nearly 800 volunteers fanned out countywide from 31 locations around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday. There were no technical issues with the new ESRI Survey 123 App, which replaced paper forms, to collect this year’s data.
Volunteers searched under overpasses, in river bottoms and in encampments in what’s become an annual one-day “snapshot” of how many are homeless in Riverside County on any given day. At several locations, city leaders and representatives helped in the effort, including Mayor Rusty Bailey in Riverside, who’s also a member of the countywide Continuum of Care Board of Governance.
“The cities throughout our county did a great job organizing the deployment sites and coordinating with county staff,” said Natalie Komuro, Riverside County Deputy CEO for Homeless Solutions. “It was also powerful to be out there speaking directly with people who are living in tents and makeshift structures. I know I will remember their stories when we release the final homeless count.
The Riverside County Department of Public Social Services has been leading the PIT Count implementation since 2005, when it was first mandated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
HUD requires Continuum of Care communities that receive HUD funding to perform the count, which is tied to federal funding for homeless resources. Federal funding related to the PIT Count will provide critical updates on local and national progress towards ending homelessness.
Tuesday’s count was street-based as volunteers looked for unsheltered homeless. Meanwhile, service providers will also count those who are in shelters and/or transitional housing. Additional efforts in this year’s count continue until Thursday.
- Service-based count – January 29 – 2:00 to 5 p.m. – all day January 30 and 31
- Follow-up Count and Survey (unincorporated areas) January 30 and 31
- Unaccompanied Youth (age 24 and under) January 29 to 31