Homeless count conducted in Kern Wednesday, numbers expected to be higher than 2020

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The Bakersfield-Kern Regional Homeless Collaborative on Wednesday conducted its annual point-in-time count of people experiencing homelessness in the county.

The count combines data from all emergency shelters and navigation centers in the Bakersfield/Kern County region with case management data from the Homeless Management Information System, according to a news release from the collaborative. Unlike prior years, hundreds of volunteers did not canvas areas to count homeless because of the pandemic.

“The fact that we are able to conduct a PIT Count without the traditional in-person volunteer effort is a testament to the excellent work our service providers have done to improve data collection, quality and sharing,” said collaborative Executive Director Anna Laven. “This data allows us to better plan and direct our resources to address homelessness in our community.”

Final numbers are expected to be made public in March. There was a 19 percent increase from 2019 to 2020, and another rise is expected this year, the release said.

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