Point in Time Count 2023 – FAQ’s

What is a Point in Time Count? 

The annual Point in Time Count is a snapshot of the number of homeless people living in Ventura County on a specific day.

When is the Count?

The Ventura County Point in Time (PIT) Count will take place in the early morning hours of January 24, 2023.  Volunteers will be paired with a team member or group and search in an assigned area for those that are without shelter that evening.

What is the purpose of the PIT Count? 

Across the country, every Continuum of Care, including the Ventura County Continuum of Care (VC CoC), conducts a PIT Count in late January. This is an annual occurrence and it serves as an indicator of progress, needs, and gaps in many communities within our County.  PIT Count data is reported directly to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the State of California and local jurisdictions. The data collected is critical in helping demonstrate the need for services and funding in our County.

How is the Point in Time Count conducted?

Volunteers form teams and are assisted by law enforcement to ensure safety during the Count. Through a coordinated effort, the teams leave from various deployment sites to interview the homeless.  Before deploying, volunteers download the mobile application Survey 123 on their smartphones or tablets.  The app is used to conduct interviews with the homeless and the collected is downloaded and reported to HUD.

What type of gear/clothing should I wear? 

Wear comfortable walking shoes and dress warmly or in layers.  The PIT Count is conducted in the early morning hours when temperatures are cold.

Are there any requirements to volunteer?

Yes, there are 4 requirements:

1) have a smartphone and download Survey123 application

2) able to walk up to 2-hours while canvassing a neighborhood

3) able to attend an online or in-person volunteer training

4) over the age of 18 or if 16-17 years old accompanied by an adult

5) be friendly and respectful while working with people with a diversity of backgrounds

Do I need to complete training if I have volunteered in the past? 

Yes.  All volunteers are required to complete the training as some aspects of the PIT Count may have changed this year.  If you have volunteered in the past, new trainings serve as refresher training. The Zoom training will be recorded and available to review at www.venturacoc.org.

Will I be asked to look for people experiencing homelessness by myself? 

No.  All volunteers go out in groups of 2 or more.

Will the Count be cancelled due to inclement weather?  

No, the PIT Count will take place rain or shine.

Can I volunteer with a friend?

Yes.  All volunteers are sent out in pairs for safety.  Feel free to bring a friend or partner with you but be sure that they register at www.volunteerventuracounty.org as well.

Will I be outdoors the whole time? 

You will be walking outside the majority of the time as well as driving around in a vehicle.  Dress appropriately for the weather.

Will any safety/security measures be provided for volunteers? 

Volunteers will work in teams of two or more and will be instructed not to separate from their teams.  No one should conduct the survey without other team members within line of sight. Volunteers should not enter any abandoned building or non-public space.  Local law enforcement will be alerted and made aware that volunteers will be out that morning.  Some officers may even accompany volunteers.

Do I need to use my own car? 

Yes, each team will require a volunteer driver.  If you do not have a car, you may still volunteer and will be assigned to a team with a volunteer who has a car.

Will I be paid to volunteer? 

No, volunteers are not paid or reimbursed for any expenses.

Do I need to bring anything with me that morning? 

Bring layers of warm clothing for yourself and a fully charged cell phone since the PIT Count Survey is accessed through a mobile app. We recommend bringing a backpack or bag to carry any handouts from your city count lead, such as protein bars and bottled water.  For you and your team’s safety, do not bring any large sums of money or other valuables.

Where do I check-in on the day of the Count?

Once you have participated in the volunteer training, you will be assigned to a deployment site.  You will receive the time to check-in, location and name of the City Count Lead for your area.  At the deployment site on the morning of the count, volunteers will receive instructions and assignments.

How can I register to become a volunteer for the Point in Time Count FAQs 2023 Count?

Becoming a volunteer is very easy and only requires you to register online by visiting:  https://www.volunteerventuracounty.org/need/index?s=1&need_init_id=1355