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City Postpones Homeless Count, Cites Coronavirus Surge

Published on Thursday, January 13, 2022 | 9:37 am
 
Archival image shows counters surveying a homeless man near Pasadena City Hall. Photo: Fuller Seminary Office for Urban Initiatives

Pasadena announced Thursday that the city’s Department of Housing has requested an exception from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in order to postpone Pasadena’s annual Homeless Count until late February.

The homeless count normally collects data from people experiencing homelessness in unsheltered and sheltered locations during the annual Point-in-Time Count within the last 10 days of January as mandated by HUD.

A city statement said the Dept. of Housing made the decision after careful consideration and consultation with the Public Health Department and local homeless services providers

Both Long Beach and The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority subsequently announced delaying their annual tallies, as well.

The Department’s conclusion was based on concerns stemming from the current surge’s impact on volunteer availability, especially among professional street outreach workers from local homeless service agencies which are currently navigating staffing challenges due to the surge.

The statement said that the Department is equally concerned with “preserving the capacity of our hospitals and healthcare system amid the surge.”

Heightened safety measures when the count takes place in February based on recommendations from the Public Health Department, according to the statement:

  •  All volunteers will be provided with an N95 mask

  •  All hygiene kits distributed during the unsheltered count will contain N95 masks and surgical masks (previously only surgical masks).

  • All volunteers will be required to take a rapid antigen test within 24 hours of the count, which will be provided by the City.

  • Any volunteer who has begun a period of quarantine or isolation within the ten days prior to the count will not be permitted to participate.

The city is still looking for volunteers for the Pasadena Homeless Count, now taking place on the evening of February 22nd from 8:00 – 10:00 p.m. and the morning of February 23rd from 6:00 to 8:00 a.m..

Registration has been extended through February 4th. Please visit https://pasadenapartnership.org/volunteer-homeless-count/ to sign up. Questions should be directed to Dan Davidson at dan@rosecitycoffee.org.

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