As the dawn of a new year approaches, Oakland and Alameda County are gearing up for another count of the community's unhoused residents. The Oaklandside reported that volunteers are vital for the upcoming Point-in-Time (PIT) count set for January 25, part of a federal requirement tied directly to the funding that addresses homelessness. "In recognition that Oakland’s community is the most significantly impacted by these issues of any city in the county, this year the City of Oakland will for the first time co-lead the count in partnership with Alameda County," the city shared in a statement.
The count, which gives a "snapshot" of the homelessness panorama, seeks to tally those without homes on the streets, in vehicles, and in shelters. Last checked, in 2022, the number of people without homes in Oakland was 5,055, showing a slower rate of increase compared to previous years. The City of Oakland's official website highlighted the importance of this data in shaping policies and directing resources to homelessness programs, revealing changes in the demographic, and guiding decisions for both government and nonprofit service strategies.
With the upcoming PIT count, local officials are calling upon private citizens, community organizations, and the private sector to step forward, infuse the effort with a sense of corporate social responsibility, and engage directly with the challenges of homelessness. Offering training for those who sign up, the initiative underscores the weight of volunteer contributions and the collective endeavor to shape actionable insight into this persistent and profound challenge facing the region.
To facilitate participation, interested individuals can sign up using a link provided by the City of Oakland, which also underscores the capacity-enhancing and service-quality improvements expected from the collected data. The city's official announcement beckons the community at large: "Your involvement in the PIT count reflects the strength and compassion of our community. Together, we can gain a clearer understanding of homelessness in Oakland and work towards effective solutions."