Concerns surrounding the rise in cases of the COVID-19 Omicron variant have prompted the decision to delay the 2022 Stanislaus County homeless count.
Every year, the Stanislaus Community System of Care (CSOC) organizes a ‘Point-In-Time’ event that includes local governments, non-profits, homeless providers and community volunteers, trained to go out into the communities of Stanislaus County and count the number of sheltered and unsheltered homeless.
Originally scheduled throughout the county on Thursday, Jan. 27, a delay was approved and the new count is now set for late February.
“After consulting with the Stanislaus County Public Health Department, CSOC sought and was granted an exception with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to postpone the count and schedule it for a later date,” noted spokesman Dan Rosas, in a news release announcing the postponement.
“We want to ensure volunteers who conduct the interviews and homeless individuals who participate in the count all remain safe,” added Jason Conway, chair of CSOC.
The Point-In-Time Count has been rescheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022 for the ‘sheltered’ count and Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022 for the ‘unsheltered’ count.
Sheltered members would be anyone that is living in emergency shelters or transitional housing, while unsheltered are those that are staying outdoors or places that are not designed for habitation including vehicles, streets, parks, and abandoned buildings.
HUD requires communities to go out every year and count the number of the homeless in the counties across the nation. For Stanislaus County, the CSOC is in charge of organizing and gathering volunteers for the event.
CSOC officials said they are still looking for volunteers to help out, and there is still time to get involved. Those who want to help must register by Feb. 4 to volunteer by going to http://stanislaus.pointintime.info/ or calling 209-558-2298. All volunteers must be 18 or older and complete a mandatory safety class, which will be provided virtually by the CSOC.
Training dates can be selected through the volunteer registration portal. For those that were registered previously, they can also choose their new training date by clicking the “Update Registration” option on the registration portal.
Counting the number of homelessness in the county is critical to determine gaps in services and the scope in homelessness. It also determines the amount of funding available to communities to develop housing and supportive services for people moving from homelessness to independent living. The PIT count in total is a count of sheltered and unsheltered people experiencing homelessness on a single night. Last year’s total count for 2021 was 2,927 homeless people, sheltered and unsheltered.
Along with going out into the community and taking down the numbers of the homeless, volunteers will also be handing out comfort kits on the day of the unsheltered count that include socks, hygiene supplies, and resource information.
For more information regarding signing up as a volunteer, virtual safety classes, or just information on the yearly event, email email@example.com or go onto their website at www.csosstan.com.