The results of this year’s survey will again be entered into a Homeless Management Information System database administered by HUD and used as the basis of eligibility for federal and state funds to support homeless people.

Mount Shasta will again be participating in a point-in-time count of unsheltered homeless individuals and families beginning next Tuesday, Jan. 28 and continuing through Jan. 31. The survey is part of a county-wide initiative, coordinated by members of the Siskiyou Homelessness Coalition and assisted by community volunteers.

The survey timing and process is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as a prerequisite for obtaining funding to support people who are unsheltered, according to a press release from the Siskiyou Homelessness Coalition.

Mount Shasta’s PIT count is being coordinated by Glenn Harvey and Kathy Morter, who will be working with volunteer teams to survey the downtown area in two to three hour shifts on those last four days in January.

Required training will be offered this Friday, Jan. 24, at 1 p.m. in the conference room at LOGE Mt. Shasta, a new hotel located at 1612 S. Mt. Shasta Blvd. People interested in volunteering should contact Harvey at glennharvey54@gmail.com, (530) 925-9287 and are encouraged to bring friends. Alternative training times can be arranged.

Coordinators are asking if residents know of people who are unsheltered and willing to talk to volunteers to collect a bit of information about their living situation and histories of homelessness.

These people are asked to go to Berryvale’s cafe from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Jan. 28 to 31, where they will be greeted by either Harvey or Morter for an interview and be given meal vouchers.

Community Resource Centers throughout Siskiyou County will also be offering STAGE bus tickets for homeless people needing transportation within the county. As CRC staff talk with their homeless clients, they will be assessing the need for clothing, hygiene and other supplies that can be purchased with grant funding.

In 2019, 26 homeless people were interviewed and counted as meeting the HUD definition of homeless during the January PIT count in Mount Shasta, including 19 men, two women and five children, according to the press release. An additional 14 people were recognized as being homeless but declined to be interviewed.

Siskiyou County Behavioral Health and Social Services staff identified an additional nine people, either unsheltered or temporarily sheltered with public funds, for a total in Mount Shasta of 49.

The total for Siskiyou County from participating cities of Yreka, Weed, Happy Camp, Mount Shasta, and Dunsmuir; Beacon of Hope Shelter in Yreka; County jail; and County Social Services on behalf of six other communities, was 262.

The results of this year’s survey will again be entered into a Homeless Management Information System database administered by HUD and used as the basis of eligibility for federal and state funds to support homeless people.

Last year, because of Siskiyou County’s participation in the PIT count, the Community Resource Centers received funding as part of a competitive grant process to help meet the needs of local homeless people who seek their services. Other funds for eligible communities have yet to be distributed, the release states.

A secondary but critical aim of this community outreach is to build a more trusting relationship between community residents and those experiencing homelessness.

Additional surveys are being conducted in Weed, Dunsmuir, and Yreka. To volunteer to participate in the census, contact Cheryl Petty in Dunsmuir at (530) 235-2133 or cherylpetty05@gmail.com; for Weed contact Sara Montgomery at (530) 261-2027 or saramontgomery82@yahoo.com.