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Board of Supervisors leads community effort to count the homeless population

By San Bernardino County
Community Writer
02/06/2024 at 07:35 PM

Hundreds of volunteers including members of the Board of Supervisors fanned out throughout San Bernardino County Thursday morning, Jan. 25, to conduct the annual homeless Point-in-Time Count.

“Reducing homelessness throughout San Bernardino County is a top priority for the Board of Supervisors,” said Board Chair and Third District Supervisor Dawn Rowe, who participated in this morning’s count. “Addressing homelessness is central to our mission of creating a county where our residents and businesses can prosper and achieve well-being.”

The PITC is a one-day survey to determine how many individuals are homeless in the county and collect demographic and other information that will help the county and its community partners provide services and support intended to lead people out of homelessness and toward self-sufficiency.

This year’s event featured PITC+, which is an effort to connect veterans, the elderly, families, people in need of behavioral health services, and others with special needs to services and shelter in real time as they are counted.

Assisting with the PITC and PITC+ were volunteers recruited by the county and cities, social service providers, law enforcement, municipal agencies, educational institutions, faith-based organizations, local businesses, civic groups, neighborhood associations, and nonprofit agencies. The results of the annual count help communities secure funding to assist individuals who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

Volunteer recruitment efforts resulted in 775 signing up to help with today’s count, nearly one third of them county employees representing more than a dozen county departments.

“I’m very proud of the 249 county employees who have volunteered to participate in the count,” said County Chief Executive Officer Luther Snoke. “It’s important to have some idea of how many homeless people we have in San Bernardino County and to qualify for the federal funding needed to address this issue, but this is also an opportunity for many of our county departments and the community to work together on improving the quality of life in our county.”

San Bernardino County’s homeless Point-in-Time Count won a National Association of Counties Achievement Award last year for virtual volunteer training. It was one of 160 awards the county won in 2023, leading the nation for the second year in a row.

The annual PITC is coordinated by the San Bernardino County Office of Homeless Services (OHS) in partnership with the San Bernardino County Homeless Partnership. OHS works to develop countywide public and private partnerships and to coordinate services and resources to end homelessness in San Bernardino County.