On Wednesday, January 30, Orange County Partnership to End Homelessness (OCPEH) staff and volunteers will fan out across Orange County to locate and count every person living unsheltered. This is part of the annual homeless Point-in-Time count, a way to track the numbers of people experiencing homelessness and their demographics. The OCPEH is soliciting volunteers and donations to help with this year’s count.
Each year, the Partnership uses volunteers to help with the count – there are day and evening shifts available between January 30 and February 5 and training is provided. Each person experiencing homelessness is given a bag with toiletries and other supplies, and folks can donate these as well. Sign up to volunteer or donate on the Partnership website.
“We are grateful to the Orange County residents who donate their time and resources to help people in a housing crisis,” said Corey Root, Homeless Programs Coordinator for Orange County. Orange County has an array of service providers and programs, including shelter, transitional housing, and permanent supportive housing that serve people experiencing homelessness.
Orange County reported increases in the number of people experiencing homelessness the past two years, and a 13% increase between 2010 and 2018. In this same period the numbers are down, 15% nationally and 26% statewide. In 2018, Orange County counted 152 people experiencing homelessness–113 in shelters and transitional housing programs and 39 people living unsheltered.
The Point-in-Time count is an unduplicated count of households that are experiencing homelessness–both people living in places not meant for human habitation and those living in shelters or transitional housing.
The Orange County Partnership to End Homelessness coordinates the Point-in-Time count each year. OCPEH is a coalition of housing and service providers, local governments and the broader community working together to prevent and end homelessness in Orange County.