The Shafter Press - Serving the community since 1922

By Jamie Stewart
The Shafter Press 

Making a difference, one person at a time


December 12, 2019 | View PDF

There are many in our county who think that too many people in Kern County are being forgotten about, especially when it comes census time. This year’s Point in Time Count that will take place is one opportunity to correct this and make sure everyone in Kern County is recognized.

The Kern County Board of Supervisors, including 4th District Supervisor David Couch, are calling for as many as 500 volunteers to help with the count this year. There was an increase in the number of volunteers last year, and it resulted in a rise of the count by around 50 percent.

The count is conducted by the Kern County Homeless Collaborative and will take place on Jan. 24, 2020, from 3:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

This single day is dedicated to conducting surveys with the county’s vulnerable homeless individuals and families experiencing.

They may be sleeping in vehicles, on the streets, or in places not meant for habitation.

Volunteers are being sought to make sure there is the most accurate count possible. According to Valerie Rodriguez, homelessness projects assistant, gathering data is key to ending homelessness in our community. “The Point in Time Count relies on volunteer participation and helps provide us with accurate data that helps our county access needed federal and state homeless services resources.”

Volunteers will canvas the streets of Kern County for homeless individuals and families and ask them to participate in a brief survey.

There is a mandatory training session before the day of the count. Once registered, volunteers for the count will receive an email to register for an upcoming training date.

Volunteers will not be alone while the count is being conducted. There is a minimum of three people in each team of volunteers, at least one being an experienced counter with firsthand knowledge of homelessness. Teams will survey as many people that they can find and turn the paper work in at 8 a.m. at headquarters.

Rodriguez said that it is imperative that everyone in Kern County is counted. “Everyone matters and should be counted,” she said.

If interested, go to, or contact Rodriguez at [email protected]


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