Thursday, January 29, 2009

Homeless Count in Sacramento County "Went Well"

Streetcount 2009, a count of homeless people in Sacramento County, was conducted on the night of January 27, and, according to a spokesperson for the Department of Human Assistance [DHA], things "went well."

According to a report in yesterday's Sacramento Bee, "76 counting teams -- comprised of more than 400 citizen volunteers, county staff and local law enforcement -- started the count at 9 p.m., and all were back by midnight."

The teams survey areas and count discrete homeless people, tents, parked vehicles and other factors that indicate the presense of homeless folk. Statistical means are used to extrapolate a well-informed guess of the total homeless people in the county from results of the surveys.

Conducting the count is a federal-funding requirement of the county. According to the DHA website, the county "receives approximately $13.5 million per year from the federal department of Housing and Urban Development [HUD] to provide funding to operate emergency shelters, transitional and permanent supportive housing projects and other vital supportive services."

Results of the street count will not be known for five or six weeks. At that time, in early March, a report will be submitted to the Sacramento Board of Supervisors and results will be released to the public.

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