The City of Carlsbad’s Homeless Outreach Team invites residents to volunteer the morning of Jan. 23 for the annual “Point-in-Time” count, part of a nationwide effort to document the number of people experiencing homelessness.
The count happens at the same time in cities all around the country. The count provides a one-day snapshot of individuals and families experiencing homelessness in their communities. San Diego County has the fourth largest homeless population in the country with 8,102 individuals counted. The City of Carlsbad identified 161 people during the 2019 Point-in-Time count.
“This count is a chance for Carlsbad residents to learn more about an issue that affects us all,” said City of Carlsbad Homeless Outreach Manager Holly Nelson. “The more involved our community is, the more successful our efforts will ultimately be.”
Volunteers will meet for a briefing at 3:30 a.m. at the Harding Community Center, 3096 Harding St., where a light breakfast will be provided. Volunteers will be paired with team members, assigned to a specific geographic area. The count is conducted using a methodology specified by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development.
“The Point in Time count provides an opportunity to not only see, but engage with the individuals experiencing homelessness in their own community,” said Nelson.
The count seeks to document and survey those living in shelters, vehicles, tents, sidewalks and open spaces. A new app is being used this year that will log information on a map-based system and enable better data analysis.
The results of the count help inform the development of local policies, new programs and other resources. The count also affects how much money counties get from the state. Last year San Diego County received $18 million of funding from HUD based on the data collected from this event.
The count is expected to last approximately 4 hours
About the city’s Homeless Response Plan
In 2017, the City of Carlsbad developed a Homeless Response Plan, which outlines a comprehensive approach to addressing the issue of homelessness in Carlsbad, including:
A homeless outreach team in the Police Department made up of specially trained police officers who make regular contact with people experiencing homelessness to form relationships, offer referrals to services and ensure they are complying with the law.
Regular cleanup of encampments to reduce public health and safety risks and other impacts to the community.
Contract with Licensed Clinical Social Workers to work with individuals experiencing homelessness and link them to services and support.
Increase the supply of affordable housing.
Provide funding for homeless programs serving those in Carlsbad, including La Posada de Guadalupe men’s shelter, Interfaith Community Services Carlsbad Service Center and the Carlsbad Hiring Center
Address the numerous legal constraints that limit legislative and law enforcement powers with regard to homeless individuals.
Connect with regional task forces, nonprofit service providers and other community coalitions to identify additional resources for meeting the needs of Carlsbad’s homeless.