Volunteers are needed in communities throughout Riverside County to help with the 2019 Point-in-Time (PIT) Homeless Count and Survey, the County of Riverside Department of Public Social Services has announced.

The 2019 survey is a one-day street-based and shelter-based effort to identify how many people in the county are homeless on a given day.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development requires Continuum of Care communities that receive HUD funding, including Riverside County, to perform a one-day, point-in-time count. Results of the 2019 Homeless Count and Survey provide critical updates on national and local progress toward ending homelessness.

The countywide count will be done between 5:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. on Jan. 29.  A survey focusing to identify homeless youths under age 25 also will be conducted that day.

The number of homeless people in Riverside County in 2018 decreased by 4 percent compared to a count in 2017. This year’s “point in time” count totaled 2,310 adults and children, compared to 2,406 in 2017.

This year’s federally mandated count in Riverside County was conducted the morning of Jan. 23. As in previous years, approximately 500 volunteers teamed up with outreach staff and experienced professionals from more than 130 agencies to canvass pre-identified areas.

The survey counts unsheltered and sheltered homeless people. This year’s survey showed a 19 percent decrease in the number of sheltered homeless and a 3 percent increase in unsheltered homeless – a 4 percent decrease overall from 2017. The slight increase in Riverside County’s unsheltered homeless count (3 percent) was trending with other southern California counties that also experienced increases.

The 2019 count will use ESRI Survey 123, a digital collection tool, as the primary data collection tool, replacing the paper-based forms. The mobile application was tested during the 2018 count and the tool was user-friendly. Community volunteers will be asked to attend a training to learn how to use Survey 123, what to do if a person is uncooperative, and learn other safety and logistical information.

Training for volunteers will be held in early January.

To register as a survey volunteer, please click here: