Lassen county is beginning to assess how many homeless are in the county. Trained volunteers and county staff are out surveying areas collecting information from those who either receive housing from local shelters or are unhoused. The point-in-time surveyors hit the streets early yesterday morning at 6:30 in both Susanville and Westwood; Surveyors were also out handing out Winter Care Packages to those they spoke with. Today the Process will resume with counts in the Herlong/Doyle area and move to Big Valley on Monday.
The data collected from the survey is used on multiple levels. In the county, it is used to determine the best services to provide those in need, and at the state level, counts help allocate funding to the county. Federally the survey is required through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the NorCal Continuum of Care Region to assess the county’s housing needs.
Grace Pool shared that the homeless in the county is not the result of what is typically thought. Pool says many of the unhoused in the area are not in fact in the area due to the highway running through the town but have strong ties to the community. Last year, around 100 people were found to be unhoused in the community.
This year’s report will reveal if the numbers have increased or seen a drop, especially with the efforts of the city council to address the homeless as its top priority. Once complete, that report will be made available for you to review.