Sacramento’s Point-In-Time (PIT) count of people experiencing homelessness planned for late January has been postponed due to the surge in COVID-19 cases from the Omicron variant.
The PIT count was scheduled for Jan. 26-27. Sacramento Steps Forward, the organization that coordinates the count, has delayed it until Feb. 23-24 to create safer conditions for participants.
“Out of concern for the safety of our unhoused residents, volunteers and staff, moving the PIT count to Feb. 23-24 is a prudent approach,” said Lisa Bates, chief executive officer for SSF. “Getting a full and accurate count is absolutely critical to us in determining effective responses as well as the level of future state and federal resources needed.”
Bates added that other cities in California also had moved their PIT counts to February.
Sacramento Steps Forward oversees the Sacramento Continuum of Care, a coordinating organization for government agencies and service providers who serve people experiencing homelessness.
SSF organizes the PIT count every two years as required by the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The previous count was in 2019; the count did not take place in 2021 because of the pandemic.
More than 800 volunteers helped to conduct the 2019 PIT count, which found that 5,570 people experience homelessness in Sacramento County on any given night. That was a 19% increase from the 2017 count.
Most people working with the local homeless population believe the number of unsheltered people in Sacramento has increased significantly over the past three years, in part because of the pandemic. The results from 2022 PIT count, likely to be released by early summer, will bring more clarity to the issue.
SSF is recruiting volunteers to help with February’s count. If you are interested in volunteering, please visit this link.
The City and County of Sacramento and their partner agencies are committed to creating positive outcomes for unsheltered residents. Since 2017, the City and County have collectively moved 13,449 people from homelessness to permanent housing.