On Wednesday, January 25, 2023, seven teams of volunteers canvassed the city to survey each unhoused person who wished to participate in the Annual Point In Time (PIT) Count. Every year, agencies nationwide undertake a PIT Count to assess the number of individuals experiencing homelessness, including in the city of Porterville. Locally, the census is conducted to help agencies and jurisdictions to better understand the issues associated with homelessness, including causes, service gaps and unmet housing needs. This information is then used to apply for local, State and federal funding and programs to help individuals overcome barriers to housing.
The City of Porterville has taken part in the PIT Count since 2006 in collaboration with the Kings/Tulare Homeless Alliance (KTHA). Planning for the 2023 Porterville PIT began in September of 2022 with the Porterville Local Initiatives Navigation Center (LINC) Committee.
Over sixty (60) individuals participated in the planning of the Porterville PIT, with forty (40) of those volunteers involved in canvassing including members from the general community and agencies across various industries. Outreach teams were based out of the Porterville Welcome Center (PWC), along the Tule River, and throughout the city and outlying communities, where individuals experiencing homelessness frequent. For the rest of the week some teams have continued their efforts to reach remaining locations.
KTHA will use this data to publish its 2023 PIT report. PIT reports from previous years and additional information are available at https://www.kthomelessalliance.org/. The City of Porterville thanks the many individuals who participated in the 2023 PIT and those who donated much-needed resources for distribution during the count.
Resources Addressing Homelessness
The PIT is one of many initiatives that the City of Porterville participates in to address homelessness in a dignified and humane way. The City also participates on the Porterville LINC Committee and supports the operation of the Porterville Welcome Center (PWC) located at 140 South C Street. At the PWC, individuals experiencing homelessness can find free resources including daily meals and emergency shelter (when available). The City participates in the Tulare County Taskforce on Homelessness in collaboration with the Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency. Additionally, the Porterville Police Department now has a dedicated division for homeless outreach and crisis intervention, known as the Special Methods and Resources Team (SMART).
Those experiencing homelessness or seeking resources, may call or text United Way’s 2-1-1 to connect with free and confidential access to housing, food, crisis intervention, and healthcare. 2-1-1 call center specialists are able to answer calls 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. Professional information and Referral Specialists work with callers to assess their needs, determine their options and provide appropriate programs/services, give support, intervene in crisis situations and advocate for the caller as needed. More information is available online by visiting https://www.211tularecounty.org/.
Community members wishing to volunteer on the Porterville LINC Committee may send an email to [email protected] or call (559) 782-7460.