County seeking homeless 2020 PIT count volunteers

“Homelessness is not an issue any one group or community can solve on their own,” stated Riverside County Deputy County Executive Officer Natalie Profant Komuro. “We have to work together to get the most accurate count possible, which helps determine where we put those much-needed dollars and services to help our homeless neighbors get back on their feet.” (Photo courtesy of Riverside County's Department of Public Social Services)

Riverside County officials are getting a head start toward registering volunteers for the upcoming 2020 PIT (Point in Time) homeless count, currently scheduled for Jan. 29-31.

“Volunteers are encouraged to sign up now for the 2020 Point in Time Count, an annual survey of homeless adults and youth in cities and unincorporated communities across Riverside County,” stated Riverside County’s Department of Public Social Services. “More than 700 volunteers are needed for the 2020 count, which is scheduled for Jan. 29 through Jan 31. At that time, volunteers from nonprofits, churches and other groups will fan out across Riverside County’s 7,300 sq.-mile landscape. Organizers say widespread participation from those who know their communities and who can communicate with the homeless is essential to obtaining an accurate count.”

It should be noted that Blythe’s count in year’s past have been conducted over the course of one day.

In the 2019 Point-In-Time Count, data found Blythe’s populace number of homeless to have dropped from 54 in 2018 to 48 this year. However, leadership and officials agree, the reported figure is only a snapshot of the actual number of homeless individuals in each respective city — the number of which is estimated to be higher.

The 2019 46-page Riverside County Department of Public Social Services (DPSS — Adult Services Division) analysis report, released on April 30, identified a total of 2,811 sheltered (766) and unsheltered (2,045) homeless adults and children countywide — an increase of 21 percent from the according 2018 (2,310) data.

“Homelessness is not an issue any one group or community can solve on their own,” stated Riverside County Deputy County Executive Officer Natalie Profant Komuro. “We have to work together to get the most accurate count possible, which helps determine where we put those much-needed dollars and services to help our homeless neighbors get back on their feet.”

As noted by Riverside County, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires municipalities receiving funding to conduct the PIT count.

“Training is required prior to the count. Volunteers must also have a smart phone or tablet to conduct the survey, be able to walk up to two hours and must be 18 or older. Volunteers ages 16-17 must be accompanied by an adult,” stated Riverside County. “The Point In Time Count is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020 from 5:30 to 9:30 a.m. The Youth Count is scheduled Jan. 29 - Jan. 31 from 2:00 to 8 p.m. Interested participants can register at www.rivcoexchange.com.”

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