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Home / Neighborhood / San Gabriel Valley / Pasadena Independent / Pasadena homeless count concludes

Pasadena homeless count concludes

by HeyWire AI
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Scores of volunteers shuffled through Pasadena streets, parks and sheltered nooks, playing a crucial part in the 2024 Point-In-Time Homeless Count as the city grapples with a growing homelessness crisis echoing a regional and national trend.

Over two periods — Tuesday from 8 to 10 p.m. and Wednesday from 6 to 8 a.m. — the Pasadena Department of Housing and the Pasadena Partnership to End Homelessness organized this year’s count, as nearly 200 volunteers undertook the task of surveying individuals experiencing homelessness across the city.

Dan Davidson, count coordinator with the Pasadena Partnership, emphasized the count’s importance.

“We are grateful to our … volunteers who came together to form 41 teams that canvassed the city’s entire geography, including every library and park,” Davidson said in a statement. “Only with their help can we compile this critical information that guides the City’s strategic planning for homeless services.”

The initiative did not end with counting. The Pasadena Public Health Department and Huntington Hospital joined forces and deployed two vaccine strike teams equipped to administer COVID-19 and flu vaccines and distribute Narcan overdose reversal kits.

The count utilized technology that featured upgraded mobile apps for surveying and GIS tracking. The integration of these tools allowed volunteers to accurately capture data, which is crucial for informing the strategic planning of services. 

Last year’s count revealed a 9% spike to 556 recorded individuals, aligning with broader patterns observed throughout LA County. Spurred by a combination of economic downturn, pandemic-related disruptions and financial distress, different demographics faced disproportional effects, with seniors, veterans and LGBTQ+ community members finding themselves progressively vulnerable.

Brenda Lynch, associate director of communications for Union Station Homeless Shelter, underscored the count’s importance.

“I’m excited to see what we need and how we can better align everything we’re doing,” Lynch told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. 

Addressing the shifting demographics, the city has backed the creation of Heritage Square South — a haven offering 69 seniors a dignified exit from homelessness. The building looms as a beacon of hope and is poised to welcome residents this spring. Moreover, with Pasadena operating its own continuum of care, separate from both LA County and Long Beach, the count plays a pivotal role in attracting federal funding and shaping effective intervention programs. 

The data, when released in June 2024, is not merely a statistic but a compass pointing toward the steps needed to mitigate the enduring issue of homelessness. Interaction with the community continues to blossom; residents can immerse themselves in city affairs, from following updates through tweets at @PasadenaGov, diving deep on issues at CityOfPasadena.net, or engaging directly at the Citizen Service Center during business hours.

Reporting by the San Gabriel Valley Tribune and PasadenaNow.com.

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