A camp in one of Humboldt County's greenbelts.
This year’s biennial Point-in-Time count will be postponed one month in order to recruit more volunteers to assist the homeless count.
The count, scheduled to take place at the end of January, will be pushed back to the early morning hours of Feb. 28.
Every year the Department of Housing and Urban Development requires communities to take count of people living in emergency shelter or transitional housing. The last count, conducted in 2015, found 1,319 people to be homeless in Humboldt County, up 265 from two years prior.
This year, volunteers will receive required training from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development in order to assist in the count. Volunteers will be asked to go to areas throughout the local communities where homeless people are known to be and take a headcount.
Sally Hewitt, senior program manager and co-chair of the Humboldt and Homeless Coalition, said pushing the date back will give organizers time to recruit more volunteers, including Humboldt State University and College of the Redwoods students.
“Participating in the count is also a great opportunity for students looking to volunteer and get some experience doing outreach to the homeless community,” Hewitt said in a press release.
The information gathered during the count will go to local planners and nonprofit agencies in order to receive grant funding. At the end of the year, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will award agencies a total of $822,933 in homeless assist funds for 2017.
The Arcata House Partnership will act as a volunteer hub in assisting this years Point-in-Count. Darlene Spoor, Executive Director of Arcata House Partnership, said the date was pushed back in order to create a better survey and help volunteers become better prepared.
For more information about the Point-in-Time homeless count, or if you are interesting in volunteering, contact Wendy Choate, secretary at the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services, at 441-5520.
See the full DHHS press release copied below:
Volunteers still needed for Point-in-Time count
This year’s Point-in-Time (PIT) homeless count has been postponed by one month as recruitment for volunteers continues. Originally scheduled for the end of January, the PIT count will now take place in the early-morning hours of Feb. 28.
“Pushing the date back gives us time to recruit more volunteers, including students from Humboldt State University and College of the Redwoods who have been very helpful with the counts in years past,” said Sally Hewitt, DHHS senior program manager and co-chair of the Humboldt Housing and Homeless Coalition (HHHC). “Participating in the count is also a great opportunity for students looking to volunteer and get some experience doing outreach to the homeless community.”
Volunteers attend training so they’re ready to assist in the biennial count, which is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Information gathered during the count is used by local planners and nonprofit agencies in applications for grant funding.
At the end of the year, HUD awarded participating HHHC agencies a total of $822,933 in homeless assistance funds for use in 2017.
For more information about the PIT or to volunteer, contact DHHS Secretary Wendy Choate at 707-441-5520. Information is also available at the HHHC’s website humboldthousing.org.