Soliciting Volunteers for the Annual Point-in-Time Count

DATE:

November 15, 2016

TO: Board of Supervisors

SUBJECT:

SOLICITING VOLUNTEERS FOR THE ANNUAL POINT-IN-TIME COUNT (DISTRICTS: ALL)

Overview

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires that Continuums of Care (CoC) conduct an annual count of homeless persons who are sheltered or unsheltered on a single night in January each year.  In San Diego, the Regional Task Force on the Homeless (RTFH) leads a collaboration of community partners and volunteers in conducting this point-in-time count, better known as WeALLCount.  Communities across the country will be conducting similar events during the last 10 days of January.  

Although the figures that come out of this count are used to apply for federal funding, this survey also enables the region to gain a better understanding of the scope, impact, and potential solutions to address this issue.  The numbers from this count are broken down into subpopulation categories, including counts of persons who are chronically homeless, persons with severe mental illness, chronic substance abusers, veterans, youth, persons with HIV/AIDS, and victims of domestic violence.  

Each count is planned and coordinated, and requires many volunteers to accurately gauge the homeless population across the San Diego region.  Last year, 1,700 volunteers participated in a point-in-time count through the RTFH that numbered 8,692 homeless persons in our region.  More than 490 County employees participated in the event.  

County employees have always come forward in the spirit of volunteerism, whether manning the polls during elections or in their charitable giving, which supports the County’s Live Well San Diego vision of a region that is building better health, living safely and thriving.  It is our hope that County employees will once again come forward as volunteers in this effort to identify the extent of this critical issue.  The count will take place from 3:45 a.m. to 7 a.m. on Friday, January 27, 2017.  

Recommendation(s)

CHAIRMAN RON ROBERTS AND SUPERVISOR GREG COX

1. Authorize the Chief Administrative Officer to establish a volunteer program to allow County employees to participate in the annual point-in-time count on January 27, 2017, on paid County time.  

2. Find that allowing County employees to volunteer to participate in the annual point-in-time count on paid County time serves a public benefit by ensuring the region’s homelessness can be quantified and federal funding can be secured to address the region’s homeless population.  

Fiscal Impact

Funding associated with today’s recommendations is included in the Chief Administrative Officer’s Fiscal Year 2016-2017 Adopted Budget.  The actual costs will be determined by the classification of employees who choose to volunteer.  The funding source is a combination of general purpose revenues and program revenues.  There will be no change in net General Fund cost and no additional staff years.  

Business Impact Statement

N/A

Advisory Board Statement

N/A

Background

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires that Continuums of Care (CoC) conduct an annual count of homeless persons who are sheltered or unsheltered on a single night in January each year.  In San Diego, the Regional Task Force on the Homeless (RTFH) leads a collaboration of community partners and volunteers in conducting this point-in-time count, better known as WeAllCount.  Communities across the country will be conducting similar events during the last 10 days of January.  

Although the figures that come out of this count are used to apply for federal funding, this survey also enables the region to gain a better understanding of the scope, impact and potential solutions to address this issue.  The numbers from this count are broken down into subpopulation categories, including counts of persons who are chronically homeless, persons with severe mental illness, chronic substance abusers, veterans, persons with HIV/AIDS and victims of domestic violence.  

Each count is planned and coordinated, and requires many volunteers to accurately gauge the homeless population across the region.  Last year, 1,700 volunteers participated in the point-in-time count through the RTFH that revealed 8,692 homeless persons in our region.  More than 490 County employees participated in the event.  

The count will take place from 3:45 a.m. to 7 a.m. on Friday, January 27, 2017.  Volunteers will deploy across the region in teams of two and three.  Census tract maps will be used to record the number of homeless persons they see.  The RTFH will review the maps to ensure accuracy and will record and analyze the data collected.  Demographic data for those who are unsheltered is derived from the follow-up interviews administered by trained volunteers.  Interviews will be conducted throughout the region from January 27, 2017, through February 1, 2017.  

In addition to counting those who are unsheltered, the RTFH will compile a count of people who sleep in the region’s homeless shelters on the night of January 27, 2017.  Demographic data regarding those sheltered is derived from the region’s Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), which is administered by the RTFH.  This data, along with an assessment of the shelter bed capacity for the region, is used to evaluate the unmet needs of the homeless population in the region.  Once completed, the analysis is reported to HUD and used with point-in-time count data from communities across the country to produce the Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) for Congress.

It is the intent to allow County employees the opportunity to participate in this program during paid County time.  All employee organizations will be notified of this program and will be given the opportunity to meet and confer with the County.  

County employees have always come forward in the spirit of volunteerism, whether manning the polls during the elections or in their charitable giving.  It is our hope that County employees will once again come forward as volunteers in this effort to identify the extent of this critical issue.  

We urge your support for the recommendations in this letter.

Linkage to the County of San Diego Strategic Plan

These recommendations would help accomplish the County’s Strategic Initiatives and advance the County’s Vision of a region that is Building Better Health, Living Safely and Thriving.

Respectfully submitted,

RON ROBERTS GREG COX

Chairman, Fourth District Supervisor, First District

ATTACHMENT(S)

N/A

AGENDA ITEM INFORMATION SHEET

REQUIRES FOUR VOTES: [ ] Yes [X] No

WRITTEN DISCLOSURE PER COUNTY CHARTER SECTION 1000.1 REQUIRED

[ ] Yes [X] No

PREVIOUS RELEVANT BOARD ACTIONS: 

N/A

BOARD POLICIES APPLICABLE:

N/A

BOARD POLICY STATEMENTS:

N/A

MANDATORY COMPLIANCE:

N/A

ORACLE AWARD NUMBER(S) AND CONTRACT AND/OR REQUISITION NUMBER(S):

N/A

ORIGINATING DEPARTMENT: Chairman Ron Roberts & Supervisor Greg Cox

OTHER CONCURRENCES(S):   N/A

CONTACT PERSON(S):

Stephanie Gioia-Beckman

Danny Melgoza

Name

619-531-5544

619-531-5511

 

Phone 

Stephanie.Gioia@sdcounty.ca.gov

Danny.Melgoza@sdcounty.ca.gov