Yearly census helps city, county apply for federal funding

Posted at 11:44 AM, Jan 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-27 14:44:28-05

HILLCREST - About 1,700 volunteers fanned out across San Diego Friday to count the homeless population in the city and county.

It's the yearly "Point in Time Count" organized by the Regional Task Force on the Homeless.

Volunteers walked the streets from 4-7 a.m., counting homeless people in shelters, in cars, or on the street.

They also sent a message that every homeless person "counts."

10News Reporter Jared Aarons went on the walk this morning, joining a team of volunteers in North Park.

The numbers will help San Diego apply for Federal funding for programs to help the homeless.

It also helps them get demographic information about the homeless population, which can help direct the money to where it's most needed.

Last years count found almost 8,700 homeless people, with more than 4,900 not living in shelters.

According to the AP, the overall number was down from 2015, but the number living on the streets was up nearly 19 percent.

The Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development requires a count every two years, but San Diego's homeless problem is so widespread that city and county leaders want it done annually.

The Task Force says San Diego has the 4th most homeless people in the country, but ranks 22nd in funding.