The Mission:

To put an end to homelessness in Kern County through collaborative planning and action.

In This Section

For information: Homelessness Resources Administrative Assistant Jessica M. Janssen (661) 834-1580 or Jessica.F@uwkern.org. 

 


2017 Homeless Point in Time Count-Need Volunteers

11/21/2016

Volunteers Sought for 2017 Homeless Point in Time Count

Workers needed ALL OVER KERN to count individuals and families who are homeless.

The Kern County Homeless Collaborative announces its 2017 call to volunteers from across the county to conduct the annual countywide homelessness Point in Time (PIT) Count, formerly known as the “Homeless Census” on January 26, 4 to 8am. The time period is greatly reduced this year and much earlier, to help gauge an accurate snap shot of homelessness.

With the goal of achieving the Collaborative’s mission “to end homelessness in Kern County”, Tina Posey, the Collaborative’s PIT Count Committee Chair said.

 

To participate, volunteers should log on to the website:  www.EndKernHomeless.org

to complete the short volunteer profile.

This is required even those who work for service provider

agencies and those who have participated before.

 

Each PIT worker (over 18) is asked to attend a two-hour training session which will be offered several times in January (dates, times and locations to be announced) with varying time slots for convenience.  Some rural areas will have online opportunities in their communities. PIT volunteers, fully trained, will also be outfitted with the tools they need to conduct the count, including flashlights.

Rural volunteers are especially needed since an increase in rural homelessness was determined in the January 2016 PIT Count to count homeless who sleep outdoors, in parks, alleys, by the river, under bridges, etc. or in places not meant for human habitation -- cars, abandoned buildings, garages or other structures without electricity or running water, etc.

The process of surveying helps to identify local trends among the homeless population such as families with children, unaccompanied youth, the chronically homeless, and veterans; and helps identify the magnitude of challenges such as drug use or mental/physical health issues.

The PIT Count is just one component of a full homelessness “puzzle” and not intended to be a “bottom line, all-inclusive number”. Experts enumerate individuals who may meet other federal definitions of homelessness together with the PIT Count. “There are other relevant data sets needed to measure progress and performance and all necessary pieces to understand the complexities of homelessness,” said Lollar.

The Count process takes place as surveyors work through a three to five-minute series of questions with people who are homeless, including questions such as the length of time homeless, number of family members homeless, chronic illness, age, criminal justice or domestic violence experience to name a few.   Once all of the survey information is processed, the responses help the Collaborative identify trends and circumstances.

The annual PIT Count, conducted since 2007, also gauges a significant amount of data the group has been compiling for nearly a decade. The 2016 PIT report can be found on the KCHC website, www.EndKernHomeless.org, indicating a local 31% decrease overall since 2007; a 25% decrease in veteran homelessness and a 41% decrease in people experiencing chronic homelessness since the reaching the highest growth in 2011. Youth and rural homelessness was up in 2016.

For more information about working with the PIT Count Committee please contact Christine Lollar, 661-834-2734 or email Christine.L@UWKern.org.

 

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