Due to the latest spike in the coronavirus pandemic in Southern California, Riverside and San Bernardino counties have postponed their annual point-in-time homeless count by a month.
San Bernardino County’s annual count will be delayed until Feb. 24 from the originally scheduled date of Jan. 27, the county announced on Friday, Jan. 14.
“The health and safety of our community, the homeless, and PITC volunteers is of paramount importance to San Bernardino County,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Kurt Hagman was quoted in a county press release.
On Friday, Riverside County delayed its homeless count to Feb. 23 from the previously announced Jan. 26 date.
“Our goal is to conduct a comprehensive and accurate count while ensuring proper safety measures are in place for all involved,” Heidi Marshall, Riverside County Director of Housing and Workforce Solutions, was quoted in a county press release. “It is very important that we have current data on the local homeless population in order to assess the impact that the pandemic could have had.”
Southern California went through a wave of rescheduled counts Friday, with Los Angeles and Orange counties announcing they are postponing their counts until Feb. 22-24.
Typically conducted annually during the last 10 days of January, the federally required point-in-time count is used to provide an up-to-date snapshot of those without permanent housing. The count helps determine how many counties fund the US Department of Housing and Urban Development for homeless services.
Riverside and San Bernardino counties have canceled their 2021 count due to the pandemic.
In 2020, San Bernardino County identified 3,125 homeless people, including 2,390 people who were homeless, that is, they slept the night before in a private or public space not intended for regular overnight stays, and 735 people were sheltered.
The San Bernardino County Office of Homeless Services is seeking additional volunteers for the Feb. 24 count. Those wishing to volunteer can register at wp.sbcounty.gov/dbh/sbchp.
As of 2020 counts, Riverside County identified 2,884 homeless people. Of these, 2,155 were homeless and 729 were sheltered.
Riverside County currently has about 380 volunteers signed up for the count when it happens in February, the county said Friday, but recruitment is still ongoing. Those interested in volunteering can learn more at rivcopitc2022-countyofriverside.hub.arcgis.com.
As of Friday, Riverside County had 11,607 more cases of coronavirus in the past seven days, down 12%. Over the past week, 40 more residents have died from COVID-19, which is 13% less than a week earlier. As of Friday, 423,832 cases have been identified in the county since the start of the pandemic, and 5,671 residents have died.
In San Bernardino County, 27,133 more cases of coronavirus have been identified in the last week, up 12% from a week earlier. Another 108 county residents have died, up 38% from a week earlier. Since the start of the pandemic, 435,028 cases have been identified in the county, and 6,196 residents have died.