REDDING, Calif. - Covid-19 hurting homeless count efforts Northern California.
For the 2021 Point-in-Time count, the NorCal Continuum of Care will not be able to perform the standard unsheltered count due to the pandemic.
Because of the pandemic, the CoC waived the counting of the unsheltered. This means this year's Point-in-Time homeless count will cover people staying in shelters.
“They have allowed us to not do an unsheltered count this year,” said Redding City Councilmember Kristen Schreder, who also works with the Point-in-Time committee.
“Every two years we are required to do an unsheltered count.”
The Department of Housing of Housing and Urban Development has told local leaders that the NorCal Continuum of Care will not face any financial repercussions by not participating in the unsheltered count.
The CoC manages the HUD homeless funds and oversees seven counties, including Shasta and Modoc.
“The federal government has mandated this count,” said Schreder. “It's so that the government can have a measurement year after year across the country.”
Prior to the pandemic, volunteers would normally go out, locate, and survey people who are experiencing homelessness. They would then input that information into the Counting Us app on their phone.
“We want to have the best information that we can about who our vulnerable population is,” said Schreder.”Where they are living, what their circumstances are, and what their health needs are.”
But longtime Shasta County resident, Robert Manning, believes that more needs to be done to help those who are homeless.
“Everywhere you look there are people with signs, will work food,” said Manning. “You see people sleeping by the side of the road up by the bridge by Park Marina.”
In addition to HUD’s required unsheltered count, NorCal CoC also conducts its own Point-in-Time count every year. In 2020, it counted more than a thousand homeless on the streets and 500 more in shelters.
Action News Now also reached out to the Butte County Department of Employment and Social Services. The department says it’s also not counting the unsheltered population, just those in shelters.