After a brief, pre-dawn training more than 150 volunteers fanned out across Monterey County to conduct the 2017 Homeless Census. Volunteers were divided into teams and assigned a specific census tract. Homeless guides familiar with the area was assigned to each team and team members counted all the homeless people they could see.
The census took place on Jan. 25 and results will be available by May or June.
An accurate count will enable Monterey and San Benito Counties to increase our share of competitive federal and state funding and ability to provide much-needed services. In 2016 Monterey County received approximately $2 million in funding for homeless services as a direct result of the 2015 census
A separate count will be taken at all shelters, transitional housing facilities and other institutions during the night prior to the street count. To avoid duplication, these individuals will stay at the shelters until after the street count is completed. Additional information about family size and composition, length of time of homelessness, ethnicity, age and gender will also be collected.
HUD requires that a homeless count be taken every two years. The Coalition of Homeless Services Providers, in partnership with United Way Monterey County, Monterey County Department of Social Services (DSS), and Monterey County Behavioral Health, is sponsoring the 2017 Homeless Census.
Photo credits: Jay Dunn/The Salinas Californian