A volunteer surveys homeless San Diegans in downtown for the annual point-in-time count in 2020. / Photo by Megan Wood

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This post originally appeared in the Jan. 12 Morning Report. Subscribe for free here.

The Regional Task Force on Homelessness announced late Tuesday it will postpone its annual homeless count that had been set for later this month.

Task Force CEO Tamera Kohler said the organization decided to conduct its annual count on Feb. 24 to better ensure the safety of homeless residents and volunteers and allow time to prepare to take more COVID precautions amid a recent surge in cases. Kohler said the Task Force also recognized that many providers and others that typically help with the count have been stretched thin as they respond to the spike in COVID cases, making it more challenging for them to assist this month.

The Task Force and its volunteers have for years tallied people staying in shelters and sleeping outdoors and in vehicles in late January. Last year, federal authorities allowed the region to simply count those staying in shelters due to COVID.

This year, Kohler said, the San Diego region wasn’t eligible for another waiver so it must conduct a count to remain eligible for tens of millions of dollars in annual federal Department of Housing and Urban Development funding. She said the federal agency signed off on the Task Force’s proposal to postpone the census.

Lisa Halverstadt

Lisa is a senior investigative reporter who digs into some of San Diego's biggest challenges including homelessness, city real estate debacles, the region's...

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