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SPECIAL COVERAGE: Living With Wildfires: San Diego Firestorm 10 Years Later

Volunteers Needed To Count San Diego County’s Homeless

Photo by Katie Schoolov

Volunteers Barbara Palan and Shannon Quigley-Raymond help out in San Diego's 2013 homeless census.

Last week’s El Niño downpours raised concerns for San Diego County’s homeless. Soon the region will get a good estimate of just how many people are on the streets.

Last week’s El Niño downpours raised concerns for San Diego County’s homeless. Soon the region will get a good estimate of just how many people are on the streets.

During the predawn hours on Jan. 29, nearly 1,600 people will set off by foot and car to scour the county for the homeless. The head count is an annual census conducted by the San Diego Regional Task Force on the Homeless and used to determine where to direct federal funds, as well as to identify strategies to alleviate homelessness.

Last year’s count found 8,742 homeless people across the county — more than 4,000 lacked a bed for the night.

“My hope is that the number will go down,” said Delores Diaz, the task force's executive director.

“We’ve put so much emphasis on housing, veterans in particular,” Diaz said. “Our community has gone through some extraordinary efforts this past year.”

Diaz said 300 more volunteers are needed to help with the count in the central and northern sections of the county.

“One hundred of them we need to specially train to interview homeless,” Diaz said.

People who want to volunteer can register online on the San Diego Regional Task Force on the Homeless website.

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