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THE BARTLETT BULLETIN: By Lisa Bartlett
THE BARTLETT BULLETIN: By Lisa Bartlett

Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett

In a county with one of the state’s most expensive housing markets, providing additional resources to help homeless people transition to long-term housing is more critical than ever, as well as addressing the complex social and medical issues that result in chronic homelessness.

To that end, every two years, during the last week of January, a countywide Point-In-Time Count (PIT) takes place to count and survey the homeless population in Orange County. The PIT Count is planned, coordinated and carried out locally to meet Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development requirements for Continuum of Care (CoC) homeless programs.

Locally, the CoC supports the coordinated efforts of 15 nonprofit agencies that provide rapid rehousing and permanent supportive housing for those experiencing homelessness within our communities. The PIT Count process is a critical factor in determining the amount of federal funding the county receives to serve the homeless population. It also provides information on how to improve the available resources and approaches to meet the needs of the different populations.

Two years ago, my staff and I were pleased to participate in the 2015 PIT Count. This year, the 2017 Count provides another opportunity for communities to come together to learn about the resources available, gain insights into the plight of people that are currently experiencing homelessness, and make a contribution to the broader solutions to end homelessness in our county.

Because having an accurate and comprehensive Count relies on the participation of hundreds of volunteers, I am inviting you to volunteer for the 2017 Point-In-Time Count on Saturday, Jan. 28 from 4:30-9 a.m. The 2017 Count will be deployed from deployment centers located in each of the five Supervisorial Districts to survey the surrounding neighborhoods for homelessness.

An estimated 1,500 volunteers are needed to work in the field and at deployment centers on the morning of the Count. The South County deployment centers will be Family Assistance Ministries in San Clemente, and Families Forward in Irvine. To register as a volunteer, please visit the project website at www.pointintimeoc.org or email pointintime@211oc.org. Additional information on ways to get involved or make a charitable donation is available at www.pointintimeoc.org.

Thank you kindly for your generous time and selfless effort in assuring that homeless and at-risk individuals and families in our county receive the care and services they need.

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