Yolo County Completes 2022 Homeless Point in Time CountMar 07, 2022 12:00AM ● By By John Fout, Yolo County PIO
WOODLAND, CA (MPG) - On February 23, 2022, Yolo County conducted its 2022 sheltered and unsheltered Point in Time Count (PIT), allowing communities to get critical information on its homeless population. It represented the first PIT since 2019 as a winter surge of COVID-19 delayed the 2021 count. Several County, community-based providers, and volunteers spread throughout the County to complete the count. Their effort proved an overall success, with the first time using an online survey tool to facilitate a smooth process.
During the PIT count, each team member was tasked with an in-person survey or a visual count if the resident declined the survey. All surveys were anonymous. The surveys collected demographic information on the homeless population in terms of race, ethnicity, age, how long they have been in Yolo County, how long they have been unhoused, and other key information to help programs understand the needs of the overall unhoused population.
"This year's Point In Time count relied on a large number of community volunteers. They diligently crisscrossed the County to secure a reliable estimate of the numbers of homeless and unhoused," said County Supervisor Gary Sandy and Chair of the countywide Commission to Address Homelessness. "An accurate county count will enable us to better coordinate our resources, maximize State and Federal funding, and strategically address the needs of those who lack housing."
The County's Commission to Address Homelessness is comprised of elected officials from Woodland, West Sacramento, Davis, Winters, and the Chair of Yolo County's Homeless Continuum of Care (HPAC). The Commission supports countywide policy, strategy, and funding recommendations aimed at addressing homelessness and housing issues.
As an example in West Sacramento, several community groups partnered together to ensure we reached as many unhoused residents in the City as possible – West Sacramento Police Department, Yolo County Children's Alliance, West Sacramento Mercy Coalition, Communicare, and Downtown Streets Team. The team was split into several groups to cover both urban and rural areas of the City. The team effort also provided a comprehensive opportunity to engage clients and offered a connection to support systems in each community, with a caring person and resource information for their needs.
First conducted in 2005, the PIT count is an unduplicated count of persons experiencing homelessness on a single night within the last 10 days of January (delayed by Omicron in 2022). Communities are required to collect basic demographic and household information. In addition, communities must identify if a person is chronically homeless, indicating long-time or repeated homelessness and the presence of a disability. Communities report the numbers from their counts to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as well as in their annual application for McKinney-Vento funds. The federal government uses information from the local PIT counts, among other data sources, in its Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress.
HUD requires that local jurisdictions submit a full report by the end of April 2022, and Yolo County will complete its report before the deadline. The report will be posted on the County’s website at www.yolocounty.org.
For more information about the community effort to address homelessness in Yolo County, visit the Yolo County Homeless and Poverty Action Coalition (HPAC).