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Written by: Jazmin Breaux, Tahoe Truckee Health and Human Services Program Manager

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UPDATED, 1/13/2022:  This blog post has been updated. The original Point in Time date of January 24, 2021 has been cancelled due to the spike in COVID-19 cases affecting the region. We will update this blog post again when the new date is determined.

The Mountain Housing Council Supportive Housing and Homelessness Working Group is excited to share our year end progress towards ending homelessness and helping to provide supportive housing in the North Tahoe-Truckee region.

One of the most important upcoming events is the Point in Time (“PIT”) Count, which represents a count of sheltered and unsheltered people experiencing homelessness on a single night. The date is predetermined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and each count is planned, coordinated, and carried out locally.

Due to the winter weather impacts of our region and the challenges we sometimes face in engaging our homeless workforce who live in their vehicles, our PIT numbers only represent a snapshot of homelessness in our region on a given day as opposed to a complete story; however, they are still extremely important in terms of serving as data points for local government programs.

The Point in Time Count
Our 2021 Point in Time Homeless Count for our region indicated that we had 45 people experiencing homeless in the North Tahoe-Truckee region on one night in January 2021. As a result and through collaborative partnerships with Nevada and Placer County, North Tahoe-Truckee Homeless Services was able to secure 24 Housing units at the Truckee Artist Lofts Apartments, Coldstream Commons, and through private landlords.

By securing these housing units (and based on the 2021 PIT Count), our community has seen a 50 percent reduction in those experiencing homelessness in our region. If you are interested in helping with the 2022 PIT Count, please contact Jazmin Breaux with Health and Human Services at Jazmin.Breaux@co.nevada.ca.us or 530-807-7792.

One Story of Success
John (name changed for privacy), a long-term local experiencing homelessness, recently moved into his new apartment in Truckee. Soon after, he also started receiving weekly food distributions from Sierra Community House. Last week, after receiving a food bag that contained ground beef, he was ecstatic to be able to host a taco night with his friends, exclaiming “Finally, in my own kitchen!”

A Thanks to Our Partners
All of the work that we do each year is due in large part to the collaborations with our partners. For example, housing metrics are achieved by partnering with the Tahoe Truckee Housing Resource Team (HRT), whereby weekly case consultations with regional providers allow us to target vulnerable homeless individuals on our Homeless “HMIS” By-Name list. Housing affordability is achievable thanks to our ability to obtain subsidized units in buildings such as the Coldstream Commons and Truckee Artist Loft Apartments, and various subsidies are obtained thanks to Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) from the Regional Housing Authority and Rapid Rehousing Funds. This provides long-term subsidy options, while Rapid Rehousing Funds are made available for up to a year so that individuals have the opportunity to increase their income and maintain the rental costs of these units independently.

What You Can Do
You can help those experiencing homelessness in our region. North Tahoe Truckee Homeless Services (NTTHS) provides a number of services to our community members in need, including the Emergency Warming Center, Day Respite Center, street outreach, case management, and housing support. Find out more here and below:

The Day Respite Center: Described as a “Navigation Center,” provides a space for community, as well as a connection to basic necessities such as health checks, showers, warm meals, and laundry. It also offers case management, an entry to county services, and support for longer term needs. The Center is currently open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Emergency Warming Center (EWC) provides our guests with a warm, dry, safe place to stay overnight on the most severe weather nights from November – April. ​”Severe weather” which triggers EWC’s opening includes 15 degrees or less, a foot or more of snow overnight, and/or other conditions. To find out if the EWC is open, you can call 530-386-7954, check out NTTHS’ Facebook page, and/or request to be added to the email list for open notifications by emailing NTTHS@amihousing.org. A weekly schedule is posted on Wednesdays.

2022 PIT Count: If you are interested in helping with the 2022 PIT Count, please contact Jazmin Breaux with Health and Human Services at Jazmin.Breaux@co.nevada.ca.us or 530-807-7792.

Our Homelessness and Supportive Housing Working Group hopes to continue building on the successes of 2021 to end homelessness in our region! We encourage you to get involved – Public participation can vary from simply watching a meeting recording, to making public comments, to getting more involved by volunteering.
The more of us engaged in this issue, the more effective we can become as a region at chipping away at the housing crisis.

Happy new year from all of us at
the Mountain Housing Council!

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