The annual Point-in-Time homeless count held on Thursday (Jan. 24) is not reflective of the actual numbers of homeless people who live in Chino, said police and city officials who work with this population.
Homeless individuals were asked to answer a questionnaire for the count.
City of Chino collected information from 23 people.
Chino Hills counted four people, but only three of them consented to answering questions.
The purpose of Point-In-Time is to obtain an estimated count of homeless people on any given day and to discover their specific needs, according to a news release from San Bernardino County Office of Homeless Services.
Chino police Sgt. Derek Bishop said there are many more homeless people living in Chino than those who took the survey. He said common living areas are near the 60 Freeway at the Pomona-Chino border, in wash areas near the 60 Freeway, along railroad easements, behind the Burlington Coat Factory and at the vacant Marie Callender’s restaurant at Chino Town Square. Other places where the homeless congregate in Chino include the old firehouse on Central Avenue across from city hall and other abandoned buildings, including private property.
“They pop up here and there and set up shop,” he said.
The police want to avoid a homeless camp situation similar to what happened in Anaheim, Sgt. Bishop said.
Chino Police are part of an extensive outreach program to the homeless population in Chino. (See Chino Police respond to homeless on this page).
A report from the City of Chino Hills states that a team of two city staff and two deputies were in the field from 6 to 8:30 a.m.
Contact with four homeless adults was made at four locations: the open space behind BevMo at Crossroads Marketplace at Peyton Drive and the 71 Freeway; outside the medical center on Los Serranos Country Club Drive; behind Smart and Final at the Chino Hills Marketplace; and walking in the street in the Los Serranos area.
Students and families experiencing homelessness receive support through the Chino Valley school district’s HOPE (Helping Our People Everyday) program.
Currently 1,634 homeless students — as defined by the federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act — have been identified by the school district, said school district spokeswoman Imee Perius. This definition includes students who live, either with or without their parents, in a household of more than one family for economic reasons.