Orange County delays homeless count amid COVID-19 surge

Orange County is postponing its semi-annual homeless census to late February amid the COVID-19 surge, officials said.

“Orange County is among several Southern California Continuums of Care approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to reschedule 2022 to the last 10 days of February due to the impact of COVID-19. ‘” the county said in a statement last week.

The protected count begins on the night of February 21st. The unprotected count, for which volunteers take to the streets, begins on the morning of February 22nd and lasts until February 24th.

Orange County is the latest California jurisdiction to delay its count. Los Angeles County announced last week that it would postpone the annual homeless count by a month. Several parts of the San Francisco Bay Area have announced or are considering postponing their counts as well. San Diego did so this week.

This is the second time the pandemic has disrupted the homeless count. This year’s census was originally scheduled to start on January 24th. It had been canceled in 2021 due to COVID-19. The last census was carried out in 2019. It revealed that nearly 7,000 people are living in shelters or on the streets across the country.

The point-in-time census is a federally mandated biennial census that collects demographic and other information to help agencies update their practices and resources. It also serves as a comprehensive census showing OC’s homeless population that year and helps determine how much funding the county will receive to address homelessness issues.

City Net, a Long Beach-based nonprofit, is still looking for volunteers to help. The group will help train and guide them and other organizations to gather the necessary information.

Those wishing to enroll must provide proof of being fully vaccinated, including the booster shot, or have a negative PCR test within 48 hours of their scheduled volunteer shift. Face masks are also required.

Visit the Everyone Counts website for more information and to register as a volunteer.

Comments are closed.