City of Riverside Encourages Participation in Homeless Point-In-Time Count
Residents have an opportunity to be part of a countywide effort to document need, preserve funding
Riverside, Calif. – The City of Riverside is encouraging its residents to volunteer for the 2019 Point-in-Time (PIT) Count, the annual countywide effort to document the number of homeless individuals living in the area. The effort helps ensure the area continues to qualify for federal funding, and the results inform decisions about how to reduce homelessness in the coming year.
This year’s event is scheduled for 5:30 to 9:30 a.m. on January 29. After completing a training session on how to use a mobile application for the counting process and receiving safety guidelines, volunteers will be assigned an area in which to make contact with homeless individuals and record what they observe.
Riverside County, which is the lead agency on the PIT Count, is seeking 500 volunteers countywide. Registration is available at https:/rivcoexchange.com and questions can be directed to RivCoPIT@RivCo.org or by calling 951-358-3844.
“The Point-in-Time Count is an important part of the overall effort to identify our neighbors without homes who need assistance in changing their lives,” said Mayor Rusty Bailey, who will once again participate in the count. “Data is an important part of any solution to a challenge, so I encourage Riversiders to volunteer for the PIT Count.”
In addition to the count itself, volunteers also distribute hygiene kits and items that are helpful in dealing with cold weather. When possible, volunteers may seek to gather information from homeless people they encounter, such as how long an individual has been homeless.
Volunteers who are under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Individuals who wish to support the PIT Count effort but are not able to participate in the count itself can donate cash, gift cards, clothing (socks, gloves and beanies), or hygiene products, including travel-size soap, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes and feminine products.
To get more information about how to donate funds or products, please contact RivCoPIT@RivCo.org or call 951-358-3844.
“The effort to reduce homelessness in our community is a multi-faceted approach, including housing, substance abuse programs, mental health counseling and job training,” Mayor Pro Tem Mike Soubirous said. “But it all starts with information, and the PIT Count is crucial to understanding the challenge in front of us.”