CONTACT: Anna Laven, Ed.D., BKRHC Executive Director, 310-592-8557, anna.laven@bkrhc.org 

2021 Point in Time Count reports 2,150 individuals experienced homelessness on January 27, 2021

Bakersfield/Kern one of few regions in California to conduct 2021 PIT Count

BAKERSFIELD, CA – The Bakersfield-Kern Regional Homeless Collaborative (BKRHC) today released its 2021 Point in Time (PIT) Count Report. The report identified 2,150 unduplicated individuals experiencing homelessness. Due to COVID-19, the 2021 PIT Count was conducted with an alternative methodology, combining in-person data from emergency shelters and navigation centers with data gathered and extrapolated from the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS). In-person data and HMIS data was collected on January 27, 2021.

Countywide, 26.5-percent of individuals experiencing homelessness (569 persons) had shelter, while 73.5-percent (1,581 persons) were unsheltered, sleeping in parks, empty buildings, cars and other places not meant for human habitation. 

“2020 was a difficult year for our most vulnerable neighbors,” said Anna Laven, Ed.D., BKRHC executive director. “The COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impacts correlate strongly with an increase in demand for homeless services. The 2021 PIT Count Report reiterates what we already know: homelessness continues to be one of the most challenging issues facing our community.”

BKRHC one of 7 Continuums of Care (CoC) in California to complete PIT Count using alternative methodology

The PIT Count is a single-day, nationwide count of individuals experiencing homelessness who are both sheltered and unsheltered. The PIT Count is not a census of homelessness, but provides a snapshot view. Previously, the BKRHC PIT Count combined client information from emergency shelters and navigation centers with data from in-person surveys of unsheltered individuals experiencing homelessness. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, BKRHC applied and was approved for an exception by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to use an alternative PIT Count methodology.

A custom HMIS report was run on January 27, 2021. After a thorough data review and additional measures to ensure data integrity, BKRHC undertook a randomized selection and sampling process. This provided BKRHC with the ability to use the HUD data extrapolation tool to move from HMIS to information regarding the entire population of individuals experiencing homelessness in Bakersfield/Kern County.

There are forty-four CoCs in California. BKRHC was one of only seven to complete a PIT Count of unsheltered persons in 2021. All others applied for waivers.

COVID-19 Pandemic impacts PIT Count methodology, economy and housing availability

The COVID-19 pandemic made significant impacts to homelessness in Kern County, affecting the way in which the 2021 PIT count was conducted and, likely, the number of both sheltered and unsheltered individuals who experience homelessness. Reduction in shelter beds due to social distancing and public health precautions, and an extraordinarily low inventory of available housing has made housing placements and supportive services challenging for homeless services providers since March 2020.

The full 2020 Point in Time Count Report is available on the BKRHC website at www.bkrhc.org/2021pitcount

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ABOUT THE BAKERSFIELD-KERN REGIONAL HOMELESS COLLABORATIVE

The Bakersfield-Kern Regional Homeless Collaborative (BKRHC) is an independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to address homelessness in Kern County through collaborative action and planning. BKRHC seeks to do this through serving as the regional Continuum of Care, developing a regional strategy to address homelessness and improving the coordination of homelessness services across Kern County.

ABOUT THE POINT IN TIME COUNT

The PIT Count is a one-night count and survey of unduplicated homeless persons conducted in communities receiving funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The PIT Count takes place annually nationwide during the last ten days of January. The 2021 PIT Count was the twelfth count conducted in Kern County since January 2007.

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