Homeless count set for Thursday evening
On Thursday evening, more than 300 volunteers will participate in the biennial count of Sacramento County's homeless population.
The volunteers will attempt to tally people living outdoors as well as those staying in homeless shelters. The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development requires communities to conduct the counts to qualify for federal funds for homeless shelters and supportive housing.
The last survey, conducted in 2011, came up with a total of 2,358 homeless people in the county, a 15.8 percent drop from 2009. Of those, 353 people were classified as chronically homeless, 24.6 percent fewer than two years earlier.
In a staff report, the county noted that chronic homelessness has declined steadily since 2007, a trend it attributed in part to an increase in permanent, supportive housing.
The 2011 report did find one significant exception to the downward trend: Homeless families grew from 543 members in 2009 to 604 in 2011.
Training for counters ended last week, but there are other ways to help. Contact Michelle Watts of Sacramento Steps Forward at firstname.lastname@example.org or (916) 577-9769. Mary Lynne Vellinga
Have a ball tonight with Yolo Democrats
You don't have to be in Washington tonight to attend an inaugural ball. In honor of President Barack Obama's second term, the West Yolo Democratic Club is hosting a free "Ball Gowns and Blue Jeans II" at the Palms Playhouse in Winters, 13 Main St., from 6 to 9 p.m.
Behind the news: While celebrants in the nation's capital will wear designer gowns and tuxes, organizers of the Yolo event are encouraging attendees to wear "gowns from a thrift store and their everyday jeans." The free, catered event will have a no-host bar and accept donations for charitable causes. Winters' Bonanza King Band will provide western and swing music.
Info: Call (530) 795-5555
Author makes math, science fun for kids
The Sacramento Public Library is inviting school-age children and their parents to spend an afternoon with David Schwartz, the author of "How Much is a Million?" and other children's books, at 3:30 p.m. Friday at the Belle Cooledge branch, 5600 South Land Park Drive.
Behind the news: Schwartz has focused his work on the importance of math, science and literacy. "Children love numbers," Schwartz said in a news release, "and when they see how numbers connect to their everyday lives, they can get really excited about math." His books include "Q is for Quark" and "If You Made a Million."
Info: Call (916) 264-2920 or www.saclibrary.org
FOR A GOOD CAUSE
Run and raise money with heart association
The American Heart Association of Sacramento is still looking for people to join its "Start Training" program, which coaches participants to run in the American River Parkway Half Marathon on May 4. Informational sessions this week are free, but program participants are asked to pay $50 and raise $500 for the association.
Sessions on tap:
Tuesday: Running Zone, 8470 Elk Grove Blvd., Suite 135, Elk Grove, at 6 p.m.
Wednesday: American Heart Association, 2007 O St., Sacramento, at 6 p.m.
Saturday: Mercy General Hospital, lower level auditorium, 4001 J St., Sacramento, at 9 a.m.
Info: http://sacramentostarttraining. kintera.org
IN THE NEWS
Banks' year-end financial reports due
Many banks serving the Sacramento region reported much-improved results throughout 2012. Some will start reporting final year-end numbers over the next couple of weeks. More info: Check www.sacbee.com for results.
Galt festival spotlights wetlands, winter birds
The Galt Winter Bird Festival, a day of informational sessions and tours of the Cosumnes River Preserve featuring migratory and resident birds, will take place Saturday. The main staging area is at McCaffrey Middle School, 997 Park Terrace Drive, in Galt. Times of presentations and tour fees vary.
Roseville police to host another talk for parents
The Roseville Police Department, in conjunction with a number of Placer County school districts, will host another in its series of talks Tuesday with parents of middle and high school students to discuss topics such as sexting, cyberbullying, and Internet safety. Tuesday's event takes place at 6:30 p.m. at Coyote Ridge Elementary, 1751 Morningstar Drive in Roseville.