The Homeless Resource Council of the Sierras, a collaborative group of agencies and nonprofit organizations from Placer and Nevada counties, has announced that Placer County’s annual point-in-time count of homeless individuals will take place Jan. 24.
“The information we gather from this process will help us measure progress and identify gaps to better meet the needs of Placer communities,” said HRCS President Leslie Brewer. “We’re grateful to the volunteers and organizations that make the count possible.”
Community partners will be assigned an area where they will interview homeless individuals to complete a brief survey. Local agencies are required to conduct homeless counts in order to receive funding for homeless assistance programs from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The county will likely receive upwards of $1 million through this funding stream this year. Though HUD only requires a full count of both unsheltered and sheltered individuals every other year, Placer County now conducts a full count each year.
Point-in-time counts are not a comprehensive measure of an area’s homeless population, but rather snapshots from a single day that can be used to approximate broad trends. Typically, they are viewed as undercounts for a community’s yearly overall homeless population because many people may move in and out of homelessness throughout the year.
A total of 584 people were counted in the 2018 count, a decrease from the prior year and a lower ratio of homeless people per capita than many surrounding communities in California.
“We’ve witnessed positive trends here in Placer and hope to see these continue through the combined efforts of our many community partners,” Brewer said.