Jessica Cejnar Andrews / Thursday, Dec. 29, 2022 @ 1:05 p.m.
DHHS Is Seeking Donations As It Prepares for Annual Survey of Del Norte's Unhoused Population
Del Norte’s health and human services department is gearing up for the annual Point-in-Time Count and is seeking donations.
The community’s annual count of its unhoused population will be held Jan. 25 with the county Rec Center in Crescent City serving as the main hub during the event.
DHHS staff are collecting knit caps, coats, gloves, clothing, tents, tarps, yoga mats, blankets, pillows, shopping supplies, dried pet food and other pet supplies, Housing Services Manager Roy Jackson told the Wild Rivers Outpost on Wednesday. The items will be placed on the share table at the Rec Center on Jan. 25. County staff can’t accept monetary donations or perishable items.
The Point-in-Time Count is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and is a survey of people experiencing homelessness on a single night in January. Those surveyed could be people housed in an emergency shelter or transitional housing or who are unsheltered.
In addition to helping DHHS understand the needs related to homelessness in Del Norte County, the Point-in-Time Count also helps the county explores options for expanding housing services.
In 2022, Del Norte’s Point-in-Time survey reached 462 people, including families, those living with a disability and senior citizens, according to the report. The survey was conducted from Jan. 26 through Feb. 1, 2022 and the data was compiled by the NorCal Continuum of Care, a seven-county consortium that includes Del Norte, Shasta, Siskiyou, Sierra, Lassen, Plumas and Modoc counties.
When the survey results were released to the public in June, Daphne Cortese-Lambert, founder of Del Norte Mission Possible, said she felt it was the community’s most accurate snapshot of its unhoused population to date.
This was due to Del Norte Mission Possible getting those who are experiencing homelessness themselves to administer the survey to others in the same situation, she told the Outpost in June.
Of the 462 people surveyed in Del Norte, 227 reported sleeping in an outdoor encampment, 108 people reported sleeping in a vehicle, boat or RV and 69 reported finding a roof through an emergency shelter, transitional housing or permanent supportive housing program. Two-hundred and twenty-six people reported being homeless for more than three years, according to the 2022 report.
In 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic, DHHS workers counted a total of 110 sheltered homeless individuals. In 2020, the last time a full count of sheltered and unsheltered individuals was conducted, 248 people reported experiencing homelessness.
On Thursday, Jackson said Cortese-Lambert and Del Norte Mission Possible would get their ambassadors to reach out to those living in local homeless encampments. Volunteers from Partnership Health and True North Organizing Network will be doing surveying in
Klamath, Smith River, Gasquet, Hiouchi and Kellogg Beach, he said.
For more information about the donations that are needed as well as where to drop them off, call Jackson at (707) 464-3191 extension 2652. Volunteers are also needed, he said.