The NorCal Continuum of Care, in partnership with Shasta County Community Action Agency and local service provider organizations are seeking volunteers for the Homeless Point-in-Time Count. In an effort to help identify the needs of the homeless population, volunteers will conduct a county wide survey to homeless individuals during the last ten days of January 2019.
The Homeless Point-in-Time Count is mandated by Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to receive state and federal funding and it seeks to identify the number of homeless individuals and families in each county across the United States. During a 7-day period, local volunteers and service providers will go into the community to gather information on homeless persons, such as where they are from; if they have mental health or addiction issues; if they are Veterans, families, or youth; and have they been victims of abuse or the wildfires.
We are all aware that vacancy rates for rental units are low, housing inventories have decreased, and rental rates are increasing at an alarming rate while wages remaining stagnant. These factors, including a shortage of mental health and addiction rehabilitation services, contribute to homelessness. There is much work to do to improve the homeless crisis that is present in our community.
“It is imperative that a thorough and well-planned Point-in-Time Count occur to prevent jeopardizing future funding for Shasta County residents; a poorly executed count would, undoubtedly result in inaccurate data, which could result in a loss of funding for many different programs and services in the future. The count not only measures the needs of the homeless, but also identifies areas that can be improved” said Tamra Switzer, Point-in-Time Count Coordinator.
During the last 10 days of January local agencies and volunteers will coordinate efforts to locate and survey each homeless person in Shasta County.
Volunteer opportunities are available for anyone over the age of 18 and require no previous training. There are both direct outreach and non-direct outreach opportunities available including:
• Survey Taker Volunteer: Join a survey team and speak to homeless individuals in the community through questionnaire based surveys.
• Logistics Volunteer: Be part of logistics by monitoring, organizing and distribution of all supplies.
• Set-Up/Cleaning Volunteer: Help with set-up/tear down of special events, cleaning, trash duties, etc.
If you would like to volunteer your time to help with the planning or survey process, contact Tamra Switzer, Point-in-Time Count Coordinator at (530) 245-6437 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Aline Williams at (530) 245-6437 or via email at email@example.com