The City’s homeless count kicked off at 6 p.m. on Tuesday night.
Volunteers in teams of 4 and 5 were sent to assigned zones from 8 to 10 p.m. The count was scheduled to continue today from 6 to 8 a.m.
Volunteers will help count and administer a survey of homelessness people encountered.
The Homeless Count provides meaningful data to further the City’s understanding of our local homeless population and to inform resource allocation for services and programs.
Mayor Victor Gordo, City Manager Miguel Márquez and several City Councilmembers were scheduled to take part in the event on Wednesday.
“The homeless count is important because you have to have a starting point in terms of the strategy and planning and you have to know how many people you are dealing with,” said Activist Sonja Berndt, who is serving as a team leader. “But that’s just the beginning, it’s a snapshot for one night. Our City has to follow through with the long-term planning that is necessary to bring our unsheltered into interim housing with services.”
Organized and implemented by the Pasadena Department of Housing in collaboration with the Pasadena Partnership, the Homeless Count, also called the Point-in-Time Count, is a one-night snapshot of people experiencing sheltered and unsheltered homelessness. The count is reported to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) annually during the last ten days of January.
The Pasadena Partnership to End Homelessness is the lead agency for the Pasadena Continuum of Care, a planning process implemented by HUD in 1994.
HUD is one of the largest sources of federal funding for programs that address homelessness or the risk of becoming homeless. With the Continuum of Care process, communities are able to identify local needs and develop strategies, and submit a single application to HUD for funding.
Data derived from the Homeless Count is primarily used to explore the extent of homelessness and the changes in trends among specific sub-populations, to identify local priorities that should be considered in making resource allocation decisions, and to help in the planning and development of more effective services and resources.
“So while we are counting, which is important in its own right, those who count have a unique opportunity to connect faces and stories to our local homeless population,” said Councilmember Andy Wilson. “So besides the obvious [allocation of resources], the count is extremely important as it humanizes a chronic and pressing challenge in our community. The additional context is invaluable to public leaders and change agents who must champion real solutions for real people.”
Aside from general volunteers, professional volunteers have been assigned to areas outside of the zones general volunteers do not cover, including parks, freeway embankments, and other previously identified hot spots; and youth volunteers.