Homeless encampment on the Joe Rodota Trail

Homeless encampment on the Joe Rodota Trail

Volunteers are needed to help with Sonoma County’s annual, one-day, “point in time” homeless count that takes place this month on Friday, Jan. 31, Sonoma County officials announced this week.

Approximately 150 to 175 community volunteers are needed for the early-morning counting that starts at 5 a.m., when teams will fan out looking for homeless throughout Sonoma County. The tally continues until 9 a.m. starting from deployment sites in Santa Rosa, Guerneville, Healdsburg, Petaluma and the Sonoma Valley.

Volunteers will work in groups of two or three with an expert guide (individuals currently or previously experiencing homelessness) to cover all census tracts across Sonoma County, said Michael Gause, the county’s Ending Homelessness program manager. 

Teams will be asked to walk or drive all over their designated routes and conduct a visual count of individuals experiencing homelessness. Volunteers with cars will be asked to help transport their team members on the day of the count.

Volunteers are also asked to attend a one-hour training session prior to count day. Volunteer training sessions will be held in late January and will be listed soon, said Gauss. For information, contact Michael.Gause@sonoma-county.org.

Registration for the 2020 Point in Time Homeless Count is also now available online. Google “2020 Sonoma County PIT Count Volunteer Registration.”

The point-in-time project is required for the county and its partner agencies to receive federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funding to support local homeless relief and prevention efforts. The county’s annual HUD funds totaled more than $3 million in recent years, with the homeless census running around 3,000 people.

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