Homeless Collaborative reports numbers on the street on decline, despite increased foot traffic

BPD Impact Team cleans up transient concerns
Posted at 7:13 PM, Mar 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-28 22:13:32-04

The Kern County Homeless Collaborative released it's Point in Time count today, claiming there are 810 people who are sleeping outside, in shelters or transitional housing in Kern County.

It's a 47% decrease since the first count in 2007.

Coordinators emphasize the count is just a snapshot of a single night to gauge trends and outcomes.

Some downtown business owners in Bakersfield and residents in one hot spot might dispute those numbers.

The BPD Impact Unit has the job of dealing with homeless or transient issues, and they have a team of two Sergeants and 12 officers assigned to the unit.

And they are very busy these days.

But when discussing people who walk the street day after day, the problem might be when it comes to classifying these individuals.

Who is homeless or transient?

What about a drug abuser or street walker?

The only area of the survey which showed an increase is people released from jail, which rose from 32 to 60%.

Sgt. Sean Morphis with the BPD said it's people who qualify for early release through diversion programs who end up back on the street.

This comes after the state announced new regulations that will further reduce the state prison population by another 9,500 inmates over the next four years.