Morning interview

Assistant Community Development Director Kim Stater interviews a homeless man during the county of San Bernardino’s annual Point-in-Time homeless count.

On Jan. 23, field teams of volunteers will canvass all of the county’s cities, towns and unincorporated communities in an effort to count, survey and assist the county’s homeless population.

Volunteers will include members of the public, community groups, county employees, homeless service providers and private-sector stakeholders. Volunteers who are able to engage with homeless individuals will ask specific survey questions, offer hygiene kits, and provide information on who to contact for homeless services.

Data collected during the Point-In Time Count (PITC) is critical to effective strategic planning and is the main source of data used by the federal government to track the number, demographics and needs of people experiencing homelessness throughout the county. These numbers are also used to determine federal funding allocations to address homelessness.

Last year's count reported 2,607 homeless people in the county, a 23 percent increase from 2018. Sixty-two individuals were counted in Highland.

For the second year, volunteers will conduct the entire unsheltered Point-In-Time Count by use of a web-based application designed specifically for the San Bernardino County PITC. Volunteers will need to have an Internetwork Operating System (IOS-Apple) or Android “smart” phone in order to conduct the survey.

The annual PITC, coordinated by the San Bernardino Office of Homeless Services (OHS) in conjunction with the San Bernardino County Homeless Partnership (SBCHP), is designed to obtain an estimated number of homeless individuals and families in San Bernardino County on a given day and to discover their specific needs.

Individuals and organizations are invited to volunteer to participate in the PITC, which will be conducted from 6 to 10 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 23, throughout San Bernardino County.

For more information or to register as a volunteer, please visit sbcounty.gov/dbh/sbchp. If you have questions regarding the count call the OHS at (909) 386-8297 or email Claudia Doyle at claudia.doyle@dbh.sbcounty.gov.

The OHS works to develop countywide public and private partnerships and to coordinate services and resources to end homelessness in San Bernardino County. Through this, OHS is helping to achieve the Countywide Vision by working to create a sustainable system of community health, public safety, and housing. Information on the Countywide Vision and OHS can be found at sbcounty.gov.

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