With the biennial Point-in-Time (PIT) count of homeless people coming up Jan. 31, the PIT committee is looking for volunteers and gathering donations.
During the morning of Tuesday, Jan. 31, volunteers will go to places throughout the county where homeless people are known to sleep, and take a head count.
The count is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requirement. Information gathered during this count is used by local planning departments and by county nonprofit agencies in applications for grant funding and planning.
Throughout the day volunteers will also be stationed at hubs across the county that homeless people frequent for services. Willing homeless participants will be asked to complete a survey to find out some basic information about them.
Currently, PIT committee members said they are expecting four hubs in Eureka, one in both Arcata and Fortuna and two in McKinleyville.
The homeless count further east is expected to be conducted by Mobile Outreach staff from the Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS). Throughout the week, as staff venture to different locations, they will survey homeless people and ask where they slept on the night of Jan. 30.
“The results help us get a clearer picture of the demographics of our homeless population which aids us in planning for the future,” said Sally Hewitt, DHHS senior program manager and co-chair of the Humboldt Housing and Homeless Coalition (HHHC). “Getting accurate numbers is especially important this year with the recent passing of the No Place Like Home Initiative. The initiative will provide $2 billion for housing and services for homeless people in communities across California.”
Once the count has been completed, staff at the California Center for Rural Policy will analyze the count data and produce a final report.
The HHHC is looking for people interested in assisting with the count, as well as people interested in donating new socks for homeless people who participate in the survey. Food for count volunteers is also needed.
For more information, contact DHHS Secretary Wendy Choate at 707-441-5520. Information is also available at the HHHC’s website humboldthousing.org.
At the Teen Challenge Center during the
2015 count, volunteer Emily Frankhauser
prepares for questionnaire interviews.
After participating in the 2015 PIT count,
Teen Challenge volunteers Scott Fuller, left, and
Mike Johnson deliver PIT forms for processing.
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