By Theresa Walker / Orange County Register
Photo by Bill Alkofer / Orange County Register
In the space of four hours that started before dawn on Wednesday, Jan. 23, volunteers armed with paper maps and data-collection apps downloaded on their cellphones or tablets managed to survey more than 1,500 homeless people sleeping outdoors or in vehicles around Orange County.
That was only the beginning of the street census for the 2019 Point In Time count — one deemed a success by those in charge of fulfilling the federal mandate and the boots on the ground who made it happen.
More volunteers, some of them holdovers from the morning count, were dispatched in teams again during the night. And follow-ups in areas that might have been missed on Wednesday were planned for Thursday morning and evening.
For the street count, volunteers were guided by maps that outlined a 1.25-square-mile area for them to scour. Red dots on the maps indicated “hot spots” where homeless people were known to sleep or congregate.