Volunteers needed to count homeless population in Kern County

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The Kern County Homeless Collaborative is looking for volunteers to count individuals and families who are homeless.

The volunteers are needed for the annual "Point in Time" Count in January, which helps officials figure out how to create strategies to end homelessness.

"The annual count helps member agencies of the Kern County Homeless Collaborative, the County of Kern, the City of Bakersfield and rural communities to strategically address the housing and service needs of individuals and families who are homeless or at risk for homelessness," Tina Posey, the Collaborative's PIT Count Committee Chair said.

The process also helps to ensure annual funding that provides crucial housing and supporting services for the homeless population.  

Teams of three or four volunteers span out across the 8100 square miles of Kern County to count and survey those who sleep outdoors and an in places that are not safe. 

The process of surveying helps to identify local trends among the homeless population such as families with children, unaccompanied youth, the chronically homeless and veterans. The PIT Count also helps identify the magnitude of challenges such as drug use or mental and physical health issues.

The PIT Count will take place on Jan. 25, 2018 from 4 to 8 a.m.

Volunteers must be at least 18-years-old. A two-hour training session will be offered several times in January. PIT volunteers will also be given necessary tools, such as flashlights.

To participate, complete a volunteer profile at www.EndKernHomeless.org. Select "Volunteer" under Give/Participate. 

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