BARSTOW • On a rainy January day, 26 homeless people were counted in the Barstow area for the annual San Bernardino County Point-in-Time Homeless Count.
The preliminary results of the survey were released Monday revealing 69 percent were male and 31 percent female, along with other identifying data.
Angela Pasco, Executive Director of New Hope Village rehabilitation shelter, was an administrator of the count. She said she didn't think the count was completely accurate due to the weather.
"I do truly believe and know there are more than 26 homeless people in Barstow," she said. "It was a cold, rainy morning and we were lucky to count the ones that we did."
Pasco said the results will help determine county and federal funding that is allocated to the Barstow area for shelter and transitional housing assistance.
"You know, I think being Southern California — the High Desert — we really don't get as much funding as we need," said Pasco. "I know people up north in bigger cities like Sacramento get a lot more. So it's really a fight for us to get what we need."
While conducting the survey the group passed out backpacks filled with snacks, socks and hygiene items, Pasco said. Thirty-two volunteers from New Hope Village, Barstow Drug Court program, San Bernardino County probation Department, Barstow Superior Court, Barstow Police Department and Citizen's of Barstow assisted with the count, according to the report.
Volunteers scoured streets and alleys looking for the homeless from 6 to 10 a.m. on Jan 24.
The age group between 50 to 61 years made up the largest number of homeless with 38 percent, followed by 23 percent between 40 and 49 years and 19 percent between 30 and 39 years. The age groups between 25 to 29 years, 62 to 69 years and 70 to 79 made up less than one percent each, according to the report.
Preliminary results do not include individuals living in shelters like New Hope Village or transitional housing. The final count report will be available in April.
Contact Brooke Self at (760) 256- 4123 or BSelf@DesertDispatch.com.