More than 8-hundred volunteers are counting homeless people across 7,300 square miles of Riverside County.
While the count of homeless adults took place Wednesday February 23rd, the count of homeless teens will go on through Friday February 25th.
The search for homeless youth involves going to libraries, shopping malls, transit centers and other high-traffic areas for teens and young adults.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development requires local governments to conduct annual counts of their homeless populations. Federal officials use the information to determine funding levels, assess regional needs, and monitor local progress to reduce homelessness.
A solution to the problem has evaded government at every level nationwide, with California far and away the Homeless Capital of the country.
Heidi Marshall, Riverside County’s Director of Housing and Workforce Solutions admits that some homeless people have been counted numerous times by county outreach teams.
There was no homeless count in 2021 due to Covid-19, but the 2020 numbers show 2,884 homeless people in Riverside County.
…At least the ones that were counted.
A volunteer (left), stops to talk with a homeless man in Riverside California during the homeless count on Feb 23rd 2022.
Photo from Riverside County Dept of Public Social Services