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Helps to assist Placer County’s most vulnerable residents

Auburn, Calif. – The Homeless Resource Council of the Sierras, a collaborative group of agencies and nonprofit organizations from Placer and Nevada counties, has announced that Placer County’s annual point-in-time count of homeless individuals will take place Jan. 25.

“The count is an important part of our efforts to assist Placer County’s most vulnerable residents,” said Leslie Brewer, board president of the Homeless Resource Council of the Sierras. “We deeply appreciate the community partners who work together to help make the count possible.”

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Community partners will be assigned an area where they will interview homeless individuals to complete a brief survey. Homeless counts are required to receive funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The county will likely receive upwards of $1 million through this funding stream this year. Though HUD only requires a full count of both unsheltered and sheltered individuals every other year, Placer County has decided to conduct a full count each year.

“We’re committed to getting the most thorough data we can, so that we can get a better pulse on how our efforts to combat homelessness are working and make adjustments accordingly,” Brewer said. “We’ve already seen signs that we’ve made a dent in the number of homeless veterans and homeless families.”

Point-in-time counts are not a comprehensive measure of an area’s homeless population, but rather snapshots from a single day that can be used to approximate broad trends. Typically, they are viewed as undercounts for a community’s yearly overall homeless population because many people may move in and out of homelessness throughout the year.

The homeless count will also mark the launch of the county’s coordinated entry system, a telephone hotline that will act as a centralized gateway for the Continuum of Care, a collaboration of homeless housing and emergency shelter providers. People who are homeless may call 1-833-3PLACER (1-833-375-2237) and answer a few questions to determine their eligibility for various housing programs. Their needs will be shared with participating Placer County homeless service providers.
Dubbed the “Homeless Resource Helpline,” this streamlined service will help various agencies throughout Placer County better coordinate services and prioritize needs. Homeless individuals will have their needs assessed in a consistent manner, and their data will be placed into the county’s Homeless Management Information System. The helpline is also available in Spanish.

The county will use the point-in-time count as an opportunity to disseminate information about the Homeless Resource Helpline.

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