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Tomorrow’s scheduled count of the homeless street population has been postponed because of the rain, I just heard.
The organizers, the Regional Task Force on the Homeless, use volunteers every year to count the number of visible homeless people. About 200 people had signed up for tomorrow’s count, which was to happen from 4 a.m. to 8 a.m. They’ve rescheduled the count for next Thursday, Jan. 31.
Here’s how the count works: Counters (called volunteer enumerators) are each given a map of a portion of selected areas in San Diego. Their task is to count unsheltered homeless individuals. The volunteer asks one out of four of the people counted to participate in a survey about how long they’ve been homeless, their primary reason for being homeless and needed services. And those counts are tallied and added to the numbers of individuals housed in each of the region’s homeless shelters on Jan. 31.
The federal Housing and Urban Development department requires the count for any local homeless service providers to qualify for federal funding. And the data is used for local task forces and agencies attempting to address the needs of the homeless population, like the group working on the Plan to End Chronic Homelessness.