BKRHC conducts 2021 Point in Time Count

Combines case management data with shelter and navigation center reports to account for homeless population

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

BAKERSFIELD, CA – The Bakersfield-Kern Regional Homeless Collaborative (BKRHC) today conducted its 2021 Point in Time Count (PIT Count) of persons experiencing homelessness in the Bakersfield/Kern County region. The 2021 PIT Count combines point-in-time data from all emergency shelters and navigation centers in the Bakersfield/Kern County region with case management data from the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS). 

Prior PIT Counts have relied on hundreds of volunteers who canvas Kern County to identify and engage individuals experiencing homelessness. BKRHC adopted an alternative methodology this year to help protect the health and safety of its volunteers, staff and those experiencing homelessness, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Leading up to this week’s PIT Count, BKRHC validated the accuracy of its HMIS data against historical PIT Count data. BKRHC was one of the only regions in Southern California capable of using its HMIS data for the PIT Count.

“We’ve made significant improvements in the quality of client data in our HMIS,” said Anna Laven, Ed.D., BKRHC executive director. “The fact that we are able to conduct a PIT Count without the traditional in-person volunteer effort is a testament to the excellent work our service providers have done to improve data collection, quality and sharing. This data allows us to better plan and direct our resources to address homelessness in our community.”

The 2021 PIT Count data will now undergo a standard review process before being adopted by the BKRHC Governing Board and submitted to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. BKRHC expects to have final numbers to share with the public in March.

The PIT Count is not a census of persons experiencing homelessness, but provides a snapshot view of the number of individuals experiencing homelessness identified over a 12-hour period. In 2020, the PIT Count identified 1,580 persons experiencing homelessness, a 19-percent increase from 2019. In light of the economic impacts of COVID-19, BKRHC anticipates an increase in the 2021 PIT Count.

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The Bakersfield-Kern Regional Homeless Collaborative (BKRHC) is an independent nonprofit organization composed of individuals, organizations and public agencies working 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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