The Kings Tulare Homeless Alliance (the Alliance) has released the 2022 Kings and Tulare County Point in Time Report. The Point in Time (PIT) is a count of sheltered and unsheltered people who meet the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) definition of homeless. It is conducted every year in the last 10 days of January and is a requirement of all regions applying for federal funds. Data collected during the PIT count is used by the Alliance and partner agencies to better understand the issues associated with homelessness including causes, service gaps, unmet housing needs, and homeless trends.
The Kings and Tulare County PIT count was conducted on the night of January 23-24, 2022. Over 100 volunteers from local jurisdictions, law enforcement, the faith-based community, non-profit partners, and community stakeholders canvassed locations where people experiencing homelessness tend to congregate including encampments, libraries, food distribution sites, etc.
Volunteers conducted brief surveys with each person asking questions such as length of time homeless, main cause of homelessness, and barriers to housing, in addition to demographic questions like race and ethnicity, gender, and disability status. This year the Alliance expanded the gender question to include the categories “Questioning” and “Gender Not Singularly Male or Female” and allowed for multiple selections for that question.
Additionally, the Alliance added the question, “What is your... sexual orientation?” The evolution of the PIT survey is an integral part of capturing accurate data to help us understand the homeless population.
“I would like to thank all of our community partners who participated in this year’s PIT count.” Says Miguel Perez, Executive Director of the Kings Tulare Homeless Alliance. “I believe that the information gathered through the tireless efforts of organizers, counters, and analyzers will help us take a large step towards ending homelessness in Kings and Tulare Counties. It can’t be accomplished by one team, one agency, or one group working independently; we all must band together to tackle the monumental task, and having a successful count is a large step toward achieving that goal.”
The number of people experiencing chronic homelessness decreased dramatically by 204 individuals (531 people in 2020 vs. 327 in 2022), or a 38.4% decrease. This decrease in the number of people experiencing chronic homelessness may be a result of people experiencing first time homelessness as a result of COVID-19 pandemic related job loss and subsequent evictions and/or foreclosures.
More people were accessing emergency shelter beds in 2022 (282 individuals) than in 2020 (227 individuals), however that corresponds to the increase in the overall number of shelter beds, which increased from 310 in 2020 to 442 in 2022. The increase in the number of beds, and people accessing those beds is the result of the numerous Project Roomkey (PRK) sites opening in the bi-county region in 2020 with COVID-19 relief fund dollars.
The City of Visalia saw the largest change in PIT numbers (540 individuals counted in 2020 vs. 469 in 2022). The City of Porterville saw a minimal decrease of 1 person (213 individuals in 2020 vs. 212 individuals in 2022). Both the Cities of Hanford and Tulare saw small increases in their PIT counts (Hanford: 254 in 2020 vs. 260 in 2022; Tulare: 203 in 2020 vs. 212 in 2022).
In Porterville, the reports show, 182 people slept in an unsheltered location, 23 people slept in an emergency shelter, 7 people slept in transitional housing.
Lucia Orozco, HMIS (Homeless Management Information System) Specialist with Kings United Way, says “To understand homelessness we first have to measure it; Point in Time gives us the ability to do so. Only then will we see the opportunities and the successes.” Lucia has worked as a PIT volunteer, survey developer, and data analyst for 15 years in Kings and Tulare Counties.
The 2022 Point in Time Report includes trends and statistics for the bi-county region, each county individually, and the four largest cities in the region (Hanford, Porterville, Tulare, and Visalia). The full report can be viewed on the Alliance’s website (https://www.kthomelessalliance.org/). The Kings Tulare Homeless Alliance and partners will continue to analyze this year’s data and use the information gathered to better understand homelessness in the bi-county region.
If you would like more information on the PIT count or homelessness in Kings and Tulare Counties, please email email@example.com.
2022 is the first year since 2014 that the PIT count wasn't conducted in collaboration with Project Homeless Connect events. This change in methodology, as well as the weather, number of volunteers, and the volunteers' ability to locate and engage people experiencing homelessness, can all strongly influence the results of the PIT count.
The Kings Tulare Homeless Alliance (Alliance) lead multiple meetings and trainings to plan the PIT count's new methodology. The Cities of Porterville, Tulare, and Visalia, as well as Kings County, each had their own PIT subcommittee lead by two or three people knowledgeable about homelessness in the region. Decisions on canvassing/mapping, incentives, and overall approach were made by each subcommittee and supported by the Alliance.
Considerable efforts and talents of many individuals helped to ensure the success of the Point in Time count in Kings and Tulare Counties. The Kings/Tulare Homeless Alliance would like to thank the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the cities of Hanford, Porterville, Tulare, and Visalia for their ongoing support.
The Alliance feels that all efforts were made to uniformly support each community to conduct the PIT count as accurately as possible.