BKRHC announces changes to 2021 Point in Time Count methodology

Plans to account for unsheltered persons using case management data, in lieu of in-person count due to COVID-19 surge

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

BAKERSFIELD, CA – The Bakersfield-Kern Regional Homeless Collaborative has announced changes to its planned methodology for the 2021 Point in Time Count (PIT Count), scheduled to take place on January 26 and 27, 2021.

Following guidance from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (US HUD), BKRHC will use existing case management data from the Bakersfield/Kern County Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) to report the number of unsheltered persons experiencing homelessness in Kern County. This method of completing the PIT Count replaces the in-person, volunteer count of unsheltered persons that has been conducted in the past. All emergency shelters and navigations centers in Kern County will provide point-in-time data on their clients, as in past PIT Counts.

The guidance from US HUD on alternative PIT Count methodologies comes amidst a surge in COVID-19 cases in Kern County and across the U.S.

“Our top priority is to help protect the health and safety of our volunteers and neighbors experiencing homelessness,” said Anna Laven, Ed.D., BKRHC executive director. “Our revised PIT Count methodology will help us accomplish this while also providing an accurate snapshot of the number of individuals experiencing homelessness in the Bakersfield/Kern County region.”

In order to use an alternative PIT Count methodology, BKRHC had to first validate the accuracy of its HMIS data against historical PIT Count data.

“Our investments to expand street outreach, improve system training and focus on data-driven decision making have dramatically improved the quality of data in HMIS,” said Laven. “HMIS today provides us with a much clearer and accurate picture of who experiences homelessness in Kern County. This data is key to our efforts to address homelessness and help our neighbors find a permanent place to call home.”

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The Bakersfield-Kern Regional Homeless Collaborative (BKRHC) is an independent nonprofit organization composed of individuals, organizations and public agencies dedicated to address homelessness in our community. Through collaborative planning and action, BKRHC works to reduce the impacts of homelessness and build a future where every person in Kern County has a permanent place to call home.

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