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County of Orange releases 2022 Point in Time Count results

The County of Orange released the results of the 2022 Point In Time Count.

“The data collected during this year’s Point in Time Count while comparing the data from the 2019 Point in Time Count provides valuable information that the County and our community stakeholders have used and will continue to use to ensure resources are distributed to best serve those experiencing homelessness,” said Chairman Doug Chaffee, Fourth District. “We are cautiously optimistic that data that we’re seeing throughout the County with this year’s Count is making a positive impact.”

A total of 5,718 persons experiencing homelessness where counted through the 2022 Point In Time Count effort. Of those, 2,661 persons were sheltered while 3,057 persons were unsheltered. The 2022 Point In Time Count effort as possible through the support of community partners and volunteers. Close to 1,000 volunteer shifts where filled to ensuring the thorough canvassing of Orange County.

“The County of Orange is forever grateful for the hard work of all the volunteers who helped provide a more accurate snapshot of where homeless individuals are in the County,” said Vice Chairman Donald P. Wagner, Second District. “While it is still too early to tell, we are encouraged by some positive trends we are seeing in this year’s numbers. We hope to see if these trends continue.”

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires that all Continuum of Care (CoC) jurisdictions across the nation complete a biennial unsheltered count and an annual sheltered count of all persons experiencing homelessness in the community on a single point in time during the last ten days of January. The Orange County CoC which covers the entire geographic area of Orange County is among several CoCs in California that were approved by HUD to reschedule the 2022 Point In Time to the last 10 days of February due to the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic and in an effort to safeguard the health of volunteers and vulnerable persons experiencing homelessness.

“The increase in the number of homeless residents being sheltered, across all categories, including veterans, transitional aged youth, and seniors, is proof that the County’s regional SPA (Service Planning Areas) approach works,” said Supervisor Andrew Do, First District. “It creates a workable framework for cities to collaborate to address different needs within the homeless population in the region.”

The 2022 Point In Time Count collected participant-level information including sheltered and unsheltered, household compositions, subpopulations, and disabling conditions information, such as substance abuse issues, serious mental health issues and physical disability, amongst other demographic factors. The information collected through this process is self-reported and allows for a better understanding of the needs and challenges of people experiencing homelessness.

“Volunteering for the Point in Time Count was an incredibly rewarding experience and I’d like to thank all of those who took the time to volunteer for the Point in Time Count,” said Supervisor Katrina Foley, Second District. “The results confirm that we must prioritize permanent supportive housing, eliminate encampments, and more proactively address drug addiction. I’m committed to collaboration with my colleagues on the Board and at all levels of government to use this data to effectively prioritize resources to address the homelessness crisis.”

The County of Orange and Orange County CoC conducted the sheltered count the night of Monday, February 21, 2022. Over 100 Emergency Shelters and Transitional Housing Programs collected participant-level information for those staying the night in each program.

“My interest as a County Supervisor has always been on metrics and that’s why I am so interested in seeing the results from this year’s Point in Time Count,” said Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, Fifth District. “It’s important for policy makers to take a snapshot in time to see how we’re doing and how we proceed moving forward. I am encouraged by the positive trends that are emerging and hope to see them continue.”

The 2022 Unsheltered Count process took place over three days, from Tuesday, February 22 through Thursday, February 24, to ensure the 800 square mile Orange County jurisdiction was canvassed effectively. The 2022 Point in Time Count replicated the methodology utilized during the 2019 Point In Time Count and incorporated the use of a unique identified formulated through various data points collected to deduplicate records for the three-day street count process. The 2022 Point in Time survey data was collected with Survey 123, a phone application, that captures GIS locations and provides vital information that guides the way the County responds to homelessness in Orange County. The 2022 Point In Time Counts provides opportunity for the County to compare the results to the 2019 Point In Time Count and provides the most accurate data comparison on the scope of homelessness in Orange County.

This article was released by the County of Orange.