2019 Point-in-Time Homeless Count and Survey due January 29
■ By Dennis Fletcher / Contributed
The Riverside County Department of Public Social Services has a webpage that is a goldmine of public services if you visit http://dpss.co.riverside.ca.us. One important project that is once again up for action is the survey of Riverside County’s homeless population living alone on the street or in a shelter.
This survey, called the “2019 Point-in-Time Homeless Count and Survey,” is a one-day, street-based and shelter-based effort by trained volunteers to determine how many people are homeless at a given point in time. That time will be between 5:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 29. Another survey to identify homeless youths under the age of 25 will be conducted on the same day.
Why the survey?
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under Secretary Ben Carson, mandates that Continuum of Care communities that are receiving HUD funding, including the County of Riverside, must conduct a census of their homeless population. It is anticipated that the results of the planned survey will provide critical new information to help ending homelessness on a national and local level.
People interested in volunteering to be part of the survey process must register online at https://rivcoexchange.com.
During the registration process, you will be given a list of two hour training course options and asked to select one. The training is mandatory for anyone who has not previously participated in the PIT Homeless Count. At the class, students receive information on how to use the ESRI Survey123 downloadable tool on their cell phone or tablet. They also receive training on what to do if a person is uncooperative and learn other safety and logistical information. All volunteer training is held during the month of January.
Before the registration process is completed, volunteers are asked to sign the following statement below:
I understand that I have volunteered to represent to the Riverside County Continuum of Care (hereinafter the “CoC”) and hereby state that I am over the age of 18 or will be accompanied by a responsible adult.
I have agreed to serve as a volunteer for the CoC’s Point-In-Time Count Homeless County (“PIT Count”). I understand that as a volunteer for the PIT Count it will be necessary for me to handle and process confidential information. I acknowledge that I will keep all information confidential both while a volunteer and after I end my volunteer duties for the PIT Count. I understand that I am not to disclose any identifying confidential information and/or records or to engage in casual or informal conversation identifying any individual involved in the count.
I further understand that the work and activities of the PIT Count can be inherently dangerous, often involving the traversing of uneven or dangerous terrain, and involves the possible risk of injury/death and damage to personal property. I understand that the CoC does not assume any responsibility for or obligation to provide financial assistance or other assistance, including but not limited to medical, health, or disability insurance in the event of injury or illness resulting from my involvement in the PIT Count.
I further agree that I may be asked to volunteer the use of my personal vehicle, as needed, to transport myself and other PIT Count volunteers to areas where the count may take place. By signing below, I state that I have a valid driver’s license and insurance. I further understand that my volunteering does not create an employer-employee, contractual or agency relationship with the County of Riverside and/or the CoC and that there is no indemnification from the County of Riverside and/or the CoC.
I understand that this release discharges the County of Riverside and the CoC from any liability or claim that I may have against it with respect to any bodily injury, personal injury, illness, death, or property damage that may result from my volunteer activities, whether caused by the negligence of the County of Riverside, the CoC, its officers, directors, employees, agents, or otherwise.
I, my heirs, assigns and next-of-kin, hereby hold harmless, release and discharge the County of Riverside and/or the CoC, their employees, officials, volunteers, providers, contractors, and all other representatives from any and all claims. This includes demands, actions, costs, expenses, and compensation arising out of, or in any way related to my actions or my omission of actions, while participating in the PIT Count.
I voluntarily assume these and any other risks in participating in the count and waive all claims and causes of action that may arise out of participation in the count.
I have read and fully comprehend the information pertained in this form and agree to the terms of this release. By signing below I acknowledge that it is my responsibility to comply with all relevant laws, policies, and regulations concerning access, use, maintenance and disclosure of information made available to me as a volunteer in the PIT Count. I understand that I volunteer freely, voluntarily, and without duress as I execute this Release.
Anyone considering volunteering for this government program should read the above statement carefully and be fully aware of all the conditions that are set forth.
The results of this effort could be very useful to the Riverside County homeless programs that serve to could mitigate some of the homeless problems in our valley. I plan to volunteer for the San Jacinto PIT Count and urge other to sign up and designate San Jacinto or Hemet as their preferred community to serve.
For more information, contact Laura Gonzalez-Rivera, PIT Count Coordinator, at (951) 358-3844 or by email at RivCoPT@rivco.org.