Nearly two hundred volunteers—including Mayor Victor Gordo, Vice-Mayor Felicia Williams and Councilmembers Jason Lyon—fanned out in six-person teams across Pasadena early Wednesday morning to help complete the City’s 2023 Homeless Count begun Tuesday night.
Los Angeles County, which encompasses 88 cities, also completed its homeless count Wednesday morning.
Also referred to as the “Point in Time Count,” Pasadena’s Homeless Count is a “one night snapshot” of people experiencing sheltered and unsheltered homelessness reported to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), according to the Pasadena Partnership to End Homelessness, which has served as the lead agency for the Pasadena Continuum of Care.
The Continuum of Care (CoC) is a planning process implemented by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 1994
Jurisdictions that receive federal funding are required to conduct a homeless count of people experiencing homelessness every other year, but the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) also strongly encourages jurisdictions to conduct a Count every year during the last ten days in January.
“The homeless count is important,” said Mayor Gordo, “because, while it’s a snapshot in time, it’s an important snapshot. It gives us a good sense of how many people are out on the streets, unhoused, homeless, maybe living in their cars, underhoused, and what their needs might be in terms of medical needs.”
According to Jennifer O’Reilly Jones of the Pasadena Housing Department the volunteers surveyed the homeless persons they encountered, asking questions about their circumstances, as well as vaccination status. Those homeless who requested it were directed to locations providing flu and COVID-19 vaccinations.
The homeless were also provided with cold weather kits containing ponchos and blankets, along with first aid kits, food, water, information, and personal hygiene supplies.
According to the Partnership, the City of Pasadena has chosen to conduct the Homeless Count annually “to understand the extent of homelessness and changes in trends among this population, track local performance and progress toward ending homelessness, Identify local priorities and allocation of resources, provide guidance for planning and increase public awareness and education about homelessness issues.”
Pasadena Housing Director Bill Huang said that the data gathered Wednesday would be analyzed over the next few months with results used to prioritize City, State and Federal funds, as well as designing local resource planning.