More volunteers, new technology paint picture of 2019 homeless count 

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RIVERSIDE – After 747 volunteers fanned out over Riverside County in January with a mobile app for this year’s annual “Point-In-Time” homeless count, the results were announced.

The count of people who are homeless in Riverside County in 2019 shows a 21% increase compared to 2018. In all, volunteers counted 2,811 individuals who are homeless compared to 2,310 in 2018.

“The record-breaking number of volunteers, along with paperless surveys helped the effort cover a wider area in the short amount of time allotted to do the count,” Natalie Komuro, assistant county executive officer of homeless solutions, said. “This updated information helps us understand where we need to stay the course on certain programs, while addressing the increased numbers of newly homeless people in underserved areas.”

Annual homeless counts provide a snapshot of homelessness. Due to the challenges in finding homeless people, however, actual numbers of homeless individuals may be higher.

This year, in partnership with the University of California Riverside Computer and Engineering Department, data on the 2019 PIT was analyzed for Riverside County’s five supervisorial districts. Four districts saw increases in the unsheltered homeless count. District 5, which includes Moreno Valley, Perris and Banning saw a decrease in its homeless count.

Find the full PIT count report, including city-by-city data on subpopulations, at http://dpss.co.riverside.ca.us/files/pit/pit-count-report.pdf.

The Department of Public Social Services has commissioned the homeless count since 2005, when the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development first required Continuum of Care to conduct a homeless PIT count.

Department of Public Social Services and University of California Riverside will continue to analyze the data to better understand trends in the homeless count and provide additional easy-to-use data sets for cities.

Submitted by Riverside County.