BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The Bakersfield-Kern Regional Homeless Collaborative is looking to recruit 500 volunteers for the 2021 Point in Time Count, to be held on January 27, 2021.
The PIT Count includes two major components: counting all persons experiencing homelessness who are sheltered in emergency shelters, navigation centers and other temporary housing programs, and identify and counting the number of unsheltered people experiencing homelessness.
Results from the PIT Count are used to apply for federal and state grant funding.
PIT Count volunteers are organized into teams of three or four people and dispatched to specific areas throughout Kern County. During past PIT Counts, volunteers have engaged with individuals experiencing homelessness to complete an in-depth questionnaire and gather demographic information.
In light of COVID-19, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is anticipated to release final guidelines on the 2021 PIT Count methodology shortly. These guidelines will clarify whether the 2021 PIT Count will be a "headcount only" of the number of individuals observed experiencing homelessness.
"Our top priority every year is protecting the health and safety of everyone involved in the PIT Count, both volunteers and individuals experiencing homelessness," said Deborah Johnson, BKRHC Governing Board Chair and California Veterans Assistance Foundation executive director. "We are working diligently on additional protocols and procedures for our volunteers in light of COVID-19."
BKRHC has invested in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for all PIT Count volunteers and developed social distancing protocols for volunteer trainings.
Individuals can sign-up to volunteer online at www.2021PITCount.com. All volunteers, regardless of past PIT Count experience, must sign-up online and register for a mandatory 2-hour training session. Training sessions will be held in January 2021 in locations across Kern County.