County still seeking volunteers for count that was originally set for January
To ensure the health and safety of volunteers, staff and people experiencing homelessness, Santa Barbara County has made the decision to reschedule the countywide Homeless Point-in-Time Count to Wednesday, Feb. 23, from 5:30 to 8:30 a.m.
Volunteers who had registered for the original date of Jan. 26 have been contacted regarding the new date, and the county is still seeking several hundred volunteers.
The semi-annual count is to tally the number of individuals and families experiencing homelessness on a given day.
Teams of volunteers will canvass assigned routes throughout the county and briefly document who is experiencing homelessness. This information is used to plan local homeless assistance systems, justify funding and raise public awareness. Volunteers will be trained to help count on the survey day.
Those who wish to volunteer can sign up at countyofsb.pointintime.info.
“With everything that has happened over the past two years, the Point-in-Time Count is more important than ever,” said Jett Black-Maertz, senior housing program specialist for Santa Barbara County’s Community Services Department. “It is important that we have an accurate count; we can’t do that without the help of volunteers.”
The following COVID-19 safety measures have been established for the 2022 count:
- Volunteers are encouraged to sign up in teams with people they already interact with (households, colleagues and friends).
- Individuals not part of a group will be matched in teams based on the comfort level indicated at sign up and must provide proof of vaccination.
- To avoid a large gathering, groups will be deployed as they arrive at their assigned logistics center.
- Appropriate face coverings and hand sanitizer are required (volunteers are encouraged to bring their own, but supplies will be provided) to keep teams and those being surveyed safe.
Santa Barbara County and the Santa Maria/Santa Barbara County Continuum of Care (CoC) Program is designed to promote communitywide commitment to the goal of ending homelessness; provide funding for efforts by nonprofit providers, and for state and local governments to quickly rehouse homeless individuals and families while minimizing the trauma and dislocation caused to homeless individuals, families and communities by homelessness; promote access to and effect utilization of mainstream programs by homeless individuals and families; and optimize self-sufficiency among individuals and families experiencing homelessness.