LOS ALAMITOS, CA — Orange County’s biennial homeless count in the Los Alamitos, Seal Beach and Rossmoor area has been delayed until February, according to an announcement Friday by the Orange County Continuum of Care.
The rising number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations related to the omicron variant of the coronavirus was cited as the primary reason for the delay. The count will now take place from Feb. 22 to 24, county officials said.
"The County of Orange and Orange County Continuum of Care will conduct the sheltered count the night of Feb. 21 ... and the unsheltered count starting the morning of Feb. 22 ...through Feb 24," county officials said in a statement.
The Point In Time is a count of people experiencing homelessness on a given night that takes place during the last ten days of January, according to the county. The count offers vital information that helps the County of Orange better understand how to service and respond to homelessness in the county.
Volunteer opportunities will be available leading up to the event and at the event itself, the county said. Resident volunteers are encouraged to register and help shape homeless services in Orange County for the future, the county said.
Residents interested in volunteering must complete a self-guided training followed by a questionnaire, or participate in one of three live web-based pieces of training. Residents can register to volunteer through the county's website.
Additionally, volunteers must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or display a negative COVID-19 PCR test at least 48 hours before volunteering.
If you are unable to donate your time to the count, the County of Orange said donations of food, water and gift cards are welcomed. Contributions will be distributed to event participants, as well as individuals and families experiencing homelessness.
Items needed for the 2022 Point In Time Count include:
Personal Protective Equipment supplies.
5,000 snack kits.
Cases of water bottles.
200 $25 gift cards to grocery stores.
5,000 $5 gift cards to food establishments or grocery stores.
Patch Editor Miranda Ceja contributed to this article.