The County Update publishes once a week on Fridays and also as needed to share important news and resources.

Quick Read: Click on a headline below to go straight to the story.

In Today’s Update:

• Record number of volunteers come out for Point-in-Time Count of the homeless

• Operation Dust Devil, Sheriff’s deputies make over 750 educational contacts regarding off-highway vehicle riding

• Ayala Park Community Center offering free senior meals

• County Clerk now accepting online appointments for Valentine’s Day marriage ceremonies

Behavioral Health podcast speaks to creating healthy habits, goal setting for the new year

• New California Days event at Calico Ghost Town wins NACo award, readies for Feb. 18-19

• Join Hesperia Library branch for its New Book Festival featuring kids’ activities, photo ops with Spider-Man, Batman, prizes, more

• Bark in the Mew Year animal adoption event finds 76 homes for furry friends despite rain

• Pet of Week

• Jobs of the Week

Record number of volunteers come out for Point-in-Time Count of the homeless

Two female volunteers are seen talking to a homeless man outside a fast food restaurant dining area.

With assistance from a record number of volunteers, San Bernardino County and its partner cities, towns and agencies conducted the 2023 Point-In-Time Count of the county’s homeless population on Thursday morning.

The results, which will be tabulated and announced during the coming months, will help determine how much assistance the county receives from the federal government to address homelessness.

“The Point-in-Time Count is a crucial part to developing and implementing a comprehensive plan to combat homelessness and provide a pathway to self-sufficiency. I want to thank our partners and the dedicated volunteers who took part in conducting this year’s survey,” said Board of Supervisors Chair Dawn Rowe.

More than 800 volunteers assisted in Thursday’s count, including more than 300 County employees.

Since the 2019 PITC, the County’s award-winning mobile application survey leveraging Esri’s Arc GIS (Geographic Information Systems) technology has been used by volunteers throughout the county visiting riverbeds, underpasses, and anywhere else the homeless might be found to count them, ask them a series of questions to help the county determine how best to address the issue of homelessness, and assist those in immediate need of help.

“The Point-in-Time count is crucial for funding and the results of the homeless count will provide the County and local cities with opportunities to develop local community and countywide strategies to help people exit life on the streets and by which the success of our efforts will improve the quality of life for San Bernardino County residents,” said Fifth District Supervisor Joe Baca, Jr.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires local governments to conduct counts of their homeless populations every other year. However, San Bernardino County conducts an annual count in alignment with best practices recommended by HUD.

“Each year, we work to make a collective impact as a county to improve the processes created to reduce our homeless population. The efforts by volunteers, county staff, and community stakeholders have helped to make an impact in the lives of real people. It is through these concentrated and compassionate efforts that people experiencing homelessness find options and support. This is a crucial first step in improving the quality of life for people who have experienced hardships and need a helping hand,” said Fourth District Supervisor Curt Hagman.

After previously seeing increases in the number of unsheltered homeless people, last year’s Point-In-Time Count revealed a net decrease of one unsheltered person and a dramatic increase in the number of those in housing and shelters, demonstrating the success of the County-led efforts to provide housing options for the homeless.

The 2022 count showed a 6.6 percent increase in the total number of homeless, sheltered and unsheltered, which was a vast improvement from the 20 percent increase shown in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2021 count.

Last year’s count found 3,333 homeless persons in the county compared to 3,125 found in 2020. However, the unsheltered population decreased by one, from 2,390 in 2020 to 2,389 this year. This zero percent increase shows dramatic progress as each of the three previous counts in 2020, 2019, and 2018 showed double-digit percentage increases.

The 2022 count also found 209 more sheltered persons – those living in shelters and transitional housing – than were found in 2020, an increase of more than 28 percent, which demonstrates the County’s success in creating additional shelter space for our homeless population.

“Identifying our current state of homelessness will provide us a baseline on how to move our region forward,” said Second District Supervisor Jesse Armendarez. “Together, we will expand our services to those experiencing homelessness and mental health issues.”

In partnership with several community organizations and county departments – including the Sheriff, Behavioral Health, Aging and Adult Services, Public Health, and Probation – the county is building on the successes achieved by the pandemic-inspired Project Roomkey and Project Homekey to make serious progress toward addressing homelessness throughout San Bernardino County.

In May 2022 the Board of Supervisors launched a unified and strategic approach to tackling homelessness in San Bernardino County with clear, ambitious goals and an unprecedented alignment of 16 County departments.

The 2022 San Bernardino County Homeless Strategic Action Plan revolves around a Homeless to Home Roadmap to Self-Sufficiency and focuses on strengthening the ability of County departments and community partners to make a collective impact toward reducing and preventing homelessness by housing the most at-risk, increasing shelter capacity, and improving the current systems in place to shelter and serve the homeless.

The plan moves the County’s fight against homelessness from a collection of individual programs to a strategic and data-driven countywide response that directs the allocation of resources, services, and programs to improve the quality of life for all county residents.

Operation Dust Devil, Sheriff’s deputies make over 750 educational contacts regarding off-highway vehicle riding

During the fifth week of Operation Dust Devil, deputies patrolled Summit Valley, Silverwood, Twin Peaks, Deep Creek, Apple Valley, El Mirage, Helendale, Juniper Flats and Big Bear. Deputies issued 28 California Vehicle Code Citations, 13 San Bernardino County Code Enforcement citations, towed six vehicles, and made one arrest. Deputies also made an additional 760 educational contacts and assisted with one medical aid. 

On Saturday, January 21, 2023, several large off-road clubs staged on Deep Creek Road and rode to Big Bear. Five off-road vehicles were towed that day for operating on public roadways.  Numerous citations were issued for subjects not wearing helmets and for operating on private property without permission from the property owner.

Several of the off-highway vehicles ran over small spikes, which appeared to have been left intentionally on the trails in the Juniper Flats area. We would like to remind property owners and residents that setting booby traps can be constituted as criminal behavior and can subject them to legal and civil actions. To report illegal riding in your area, please email

On December 17, 2022, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors authorized funding to assist with county-wide off highway vehicle enforcement. The funding allows the Sheriff’s Department to increase law enforcement services related to quality-of-life issues affecting the communities in our county.

Operation Dust Devil will take place over the next several months to encourage safe and responsible off-highway vehicle operation, by way of education and enforcement throughout San Bernardino County. 

Operation Dust Devil will focus on off-highway vehicle operations throughout the county’s 20,105 square miles. The operation will include personnel from the Sheriff’s Off-Highway Vehicle Team and various patrol stations. They will work with San Bernardino County Land Use Services/Code Enforcement, San Bernardino Park Services, Hesperia Park Services, US Forest Service, California State Parks, Bureau of Land Management, Department of Fish and Game, National Parks Service, BNSF Police, California Highway Patrol, San Bernardino Police Department, Rialto Police Department and Colton Police Department.
The goal of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Off-Highway Vehicle Team is to contact off highway vehicle enthusiasts and educate them in the safe and proper use of their equipment, to include use of helmets, seat belts, and operating on designated off-highway vehicle trails and open areas. Many enthusiasts are unaware of the locations of the legal and open off-highway vehicle riding areas.

The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors and the Sheriff’s Department supports responsible and safe off-highway vehicle use and encourages enthusiasts to use the links below to and discover the legal off-highway vehicle opportunities in the county. If you would like the team to assess a particular area regarding illegal riding, please email

Off-Highway Vehicle Riding Resources

Ayala Park Community Center offering free senior meals

Ayala Park Community Center in Bloomington is now offering a Senior Nutrition Hot Meal Program. Meals are available to all seniors 60 years and older, spouses of older individuals, and individuals with disabilities. 

This program is donation-based and provides congregate meals for eligible residents of Bloomington and surrounding cities on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the new Ayala Park Community Center. To-go frozen meals are offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. For more information about the program, please contact San Bernardino County Aging and Adult Services at (800) 510-2020 or for the community center, contact the Ayala Community Center at 909.562-0917.

County Clerk now accepting online appointments for Valentine’s Day marriage ceremonies

The San Bernardino County Clerk is gearing up for its busiest day of the year, Valentine’s Day. As the county entity responsible for the issuance of marriage licenses and performance of civil wedding ceremonies, Valentine’s Day is a big day not only for couples wishing to get married, but for the department.

“I am excited to welcome couples into our offices and thank them for making us part of their special day,” said Chris Wilhite, San Bernardino County’s Assessor-Recorder-County Clerk.

Above, San Bernardino County residents Miranda Canseco and Juan Ochoa are pictured after their wedding ceremony at the San Bernardino County Hall of Records in San Bernardino.

“Valentine’s Day is always a fun time for the newlyweds and our staff as we decorate our lobbies and feel the abundance of joy in the air.”

Couples wishing to get married through the County Clerk offices must review the marriage license requirements and complete an application at prior to booking their marriage service appointment online.

County Clerk offices offering marriage services:

  • San Bernardino- Hall of Records
    222 W. Hospitality Lane, 1st Floor
    San Bernardino, CA 92415
  • High Desert Government Center
    15900 Smoke Tree Street, 1st Floor
    Hesperia, CA 92345

To learn more about the San Bernardino County Clerk’s marriage services, including hours, times and appointment information please visit:

Behavioral Health podcast speaks to creating healthy habits, goal setting for the new year

The Resilient and Real podcast, presented by the San Bernardino County Department of Behavioral Health, is back with an all-new season! As we start the new year, people tend to set New Year’s resolutions and get discouraged when they do not reach their goals.

In the new episode, CycleBar Lead Instructor Melissa Murray joins the podcast to share her journey, provide great motivation to listeners, and talk about shifting the mindset of setting fitness goals and creating healthy habits that benefit our mental health.

In this new season of episodes, the podcast will also feature a medical professional who will provide educational information on various behavioral health topics. In the latest episode, DBH Associate Medical Director Dr. David Block provides information about eating disorders, warning signs to look for and how one can find treatment.

Listen to the all-new episode today! Resilient and Real is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeart Radio, Amazon Music or wherever you get your podcasts. For more information about the San Bernardino County Department of Behavioral Health, visit

New California Days event at Calico Ghost Town wins NACo award, readies for Feb. 18-19

Recognizing the role Calico Ghost Town and its settlers played in the history of California and its economy, the San Bernardino County Regional Parks department launched a new annual California Days event on February 19-20, 2022, to coincide with National California Day celebrated every year on February 22. This year’s event will be held on Feb. 18-19, 2023.

San Bernardino County Regional Parks Director Beahta Davis said the department wanted the event to acknowledge the history of the early California days through educational displays about California’s history, focusing on mining, the Pony Express, the state flag and the Butterfield Overland Trail through an annual event.

Calico Ghost Town is an Old West silver mining town in Yermo that was established in 1881, but was abandoned in the mid-1890s after silver lost its value. Calico has a rich history of mining and is a state historical landmark. In 2005, the town received a proclamation by the governor recognized as California’s Silver Rush Ghost Town.

The rich silver deposits at Calico sparked a boom-town hustle with the height of its population exploding to 1,200 in 1887, offering a schoolhouse, post office, cemetery, its version of a China Town and red-light district with about 22 saloons that sprang up all over town. This bustling industry created a shipping center in the neighboring town of Daggett, which thrived as a hub of activity in the Mojave Desert by 1888.

At the height of its wealth, Calico produced about $87 million in silver and $45 million in borax in more than 500 mines, including the Silver King, Waterloo, Bismark and Maggie Mines.

Walter Knott purchased Calico in the 1950s, architecturally restoring all but five original buildings to look as they did in the 1880s and donated the town to the county in 1966. Calico is now operated by the San Bernardino County Regional Parks Department.

Davis said partnering with mining companies for the California Days event added a layer of authenticity for eventgoers to visualize how the town relied on mining in the early days as well as an opportunity to see what mining is like today.  

“The purpose of the special event programming is to provide activities and experiences that submerse park patrons into the history of Calico Ghost Town and the important role its townspeople played. We wanted our eventgoers to relive the early days of Calico and California,” said Davis.

For the department’s effort, this thematic event won an Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo). The award was one of 82 won by San Bernardino County, which won the most 2022 NACo Awards of any other county in the United States.

Shawnita Jones, Park Superintendent of Calico Ghost Town and Mojave Narrows Regional Park, said the history of Calico and the role it played in California’s economy is an important part of local history in the county and was happy to see so many people come out to enjoy the new event.

“I have been with Regional Parks for about 10 years now and thought California Days was the right mix of fun activities and education. Families can come here together and really enjoy a slice of history whether it’s just for the day or a weekend of camping. I love seeing them smiling and having a good time together,” said Jones.

There were plenty of smiles, laughter and excitement prevalent throughout the weekend event with more than 4,300 visitors attending, including 217 camping reservations.

“I am super excited about the event scheduled on February 18 and 19 this year. I am sure it will be as amazing as last year,” Jones said.

“Working here enables me to see how people enjoy the outdoors. I started with the county in 2012 as a part time General Services Worker II [GSW II] while working another job and attending community college to get my AS in math and science. When I graduated in 2014, I was promoted to a full time GSW II. In 2016, I was promoted to a Park Ranger II, and then in 2019, I was promoted to Park Superintendent.”

Working for Regional Parks affords many opportunities to learn and grow. Come and join our award-winning team at San Bernardino County and you’ll find Opportunity Works Here! Learn more at

For more information about California Days, including the schedule of events and activities, visit

Join Hesperia Library branch for its New Book Festival featuring kids’ activities, photo ops with Spider-Man, Batman, prizes, more

A graphic with a circle in the middle surrounded by water drops on an yellow to green gradient background with splash dots. There are four smaller circles with two on each side of the larger circle. The smaller circles contain stock photos of face painting activity, Legos, kids dancing and an adult silhouette advertising the Hesperia Library branch date Jan. 28, 2023 and time 3 p.m to 7 p.m.

The San Bernardino County Library invites residents to the Hesperia Branch Library for the return of the Annual New Book Festival, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.  Visitors should bring their library card. Every 15 items checked out during the event earns visitors an opportunity drawing ticket for a chance to win awesome prizes.  All activities are free and open to all ages.

Thousands of new books will be available for patrons for the very first time. Don’t forget to take pictures with Batman, Spider-Man, Rapunzel, and Detective Pikachu! Build memories in our Jumbo Block play area, create fun crafts, enjoy face painting and balloon artists, dance to a live DJ, and much more.

The Hesperia Branch Library is at 9650 7th Avenue in Hesperia. For more information on the San Bernardino County library system, please visit or call (909) 387-2220.

Bark in the Mew Year animal adoption event finds 76 homes for furry friends despite rain

Scattered showers did not stop the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health’s Animal Care staff from connecting loveable pets with their new forever homes during the “Bark in the Mew Year” complimentary adoption event from Jan. 2- Jan. 11, at the Devore and Big Bear Animal Shelters.

The no-cost event was sponsored by the Animals aRe First Fund (ARFF), which included spay or neutering, microchip and most vaccines for each adopted animal. A total of 76 pets were adopted for the event, over twice as much from last year’s event, which totaled 37 adoptions.

To learn more about Animal Care events and adoptable animals in need of loving homes in San Bernardino County’s Big Bear and Devore Animal shelters, please visit San Bernardino County Animal Care at

Pet of the Week: Edison

Meet Edison (#A774761). Edison is an 18-month-old unaltered male, who looks like a black and brown Shepherd. He is a fast-paced adventurer who loves to explore the outdoors. Edison is currently available for adoption at the Devore Animal Shelter. Just ask to see ID A774761.

For information about animals available for adoption in San Bernardino County’s Big Bear and #Devore shelters, please visit San Bernardino County Animal Care at to see photographs of the pets awaiting adoption or call (800) 472-5609.

To donate to assist animals at the shelter, visit

We are hiring. Join an award-winning workforce

A collage of people posing for the camera in professonal dress attire with a video play button in the middle.

Jobs of the Week and other hiring events

San Bernardino County has jobs that will open on Saturday, Jan. 21.

We encourage you to apply and share these job openings with those who may be interested in them. Recruitments listed are subject to final department approval.

Check for the most up-to-date recruitments.

A purple box with the words Monkey Pox Information on it. there is a vial of medicine with a needle on an angle at the top.

San Bernardino County has jobs that will open on Saturday, Jan. 21.

We encourage you to apply and share these job openings with those who may be interested in them. Recruitments listed are subject to final department approval.

Check for the most up-to-date recruitments.

A teal box with the words COVID-!9 Vaccine Information on it and a injectable needle on the left.

For all COVID-19 related information, including case statistics, FAQs, guidelines, and resources, visit the County’s COVID-19 webpage at Residents of San Bernardino County may also call the COVID-19 helpline at (909) 387-3911 for general information and resources about the virus. The phone line is NOT for medical calls and is available Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you have questions about social services, please call 211.

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