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Federal housing funding dependent on 2022 Sacramento homeless count

With the last official survey of Sacramento's unhoused population observed in 2019, the nonprofit running the 'Point-In-Time' survey is hoping to catch up this year.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — With the Sacramento 'Point-In-Time' count inactive since 2019 because of COVID-19, federal housing funds have remained unchanged.

But Lisa Bates, CEO of the nonprofit running the count, said they need an accurate count in 2022 to ensure the region gets all the funding it needs to tackle the housing crisis.

Sacramento Steps Forward has more than 600 volunteers as of Monday, exceeding their original call for 500 volunteers to travel across Sacramento in search of residents without housing.

During the Point-In-Time count of 2019, about 900 volunteers stepped up.

The official count will go from Wednesday to Thursday, but Bates said they're still welcoming volunteers to cover as much ground as possible.

"Increasingly, our state partners are also relying on this federal requirement for resources that are coming down from the state government," Bates told ABC10, "So it is it is the most important figure in terms of receiving resources from both state and federal government."

All volunteers will have to show proof of vaccination and be masked while surveying in order to prevent any potential transmission between volunteers and residents.

Other pandemic-era changes to Sacramento Steps Forward's approach to the 2022 survey include volunteer training over Zoom, deployment of smaller teams and the possible hiring of professional outreach staff.

"We will have over 200 areas potentially that will be surveyed over the course of two nights," Bates said. "We're also expanding our deployment centers to include some of the surrounding cities, Rancho Cordova, Elk Grove and Folsom will also be helping with doing and conducting counts in their communities."

Sacramento Steps Forward works with researchers at Sacramento State University on the Point-In-Time count methodology, and the nonprofit maps out its canvassing locations at least two months in advance with information from nearby agencies.

The Point-In-Time count is still accepting volunteering applications through Wednesday at https://sacramentostepsforward.org/

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