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Riverside County Holds Annual Homeless Point-In-Time Count

Benjamin Purper

Volunteers woke up early on Wednesday, January 29th to conduct a survey of all the homeless people living in Riverside County. 

About 60 volunteers showed up to the La Sierra University Church at 5:30a.m. to sign in for the homeless Point-in-Time Count.

Over 1,000 people registered for the count in all of Riverside County.

The count is a snapshot of homelessness in Riverside County that’s used to determine how much federal money is distributed to fight homelessness in this area.

Volunteers use an app to survey homeless people in the streets, in parks, in encampments, under bridges – wherever they can find them.

I talked to Gordon in a park in Riverside. He’s been homeless about three years.

Gordon: “It's kinda sad, because most of us that are out here aren't here because we want to be here. We're not in your neighborhood because we want to be here. It's the only place we got to go.”

After the count, I talked to Natalie Komuro, Riverside County’s Deputy County Executive Officer for Homelessness Solutions.

She participated in the count herself.

Komuro: “It was good, we ended up at County Circle where there has historically been an encampment, but you couldn't see it from where we were standing, so we walked up this trail and then I was frankly shocked to see several established tents and bicycles and so forth up there.”

Komuro says the count is vital to efforts to combat homelessness in the county.

Komuro: “One, it's important because we're required by our funders to do it, and so we wouldn't be able to get about 10 million from the federal government, another ten or so from the state if we don't do this. So we have to do it for those reasons, but it's also an important snapshot to sort of give us an indicator year to year how we're doing.”

The numbers from the Point-in-Time Count will be released in the spring.

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