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Phoenix officials conducting on-street survey of homeless

A lot of people will be walking Valley streets on Wednesday, taking a different kind of census.

“For the first time in a couple of years, the entire region will be engaging in a count of our homeless population,” said Jody Liggett, the Homeless Policy Advisor for Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “We have teams headed up by the Maricopa Association of Governments, along with city personnel, non-profit associations and hundreds of volunteers. They will fan out over an assigned territory looking for individuals who are out on the street.”

Stanton will be on one of the teams walking the city. Starting at 8 a.m., he will be working in the area north of Van Buren Street between Central Ave. and Seventh Ave. The teams will not only count the homeless, but will talk with them about their problems.

Liggett said that the homeless come from all walks of life.

“We’ve got homeless people who are veterans,” she said. “We’ve got single mothers with children who have fallen through the cracks. There are people who are former professionals that have had a disabling health condition that just wiped them out financially, and they find themselves out on the streets.”

The census is called the MAG Point In Time Street Count and Survey of homeless families and individuals. Liggett said the census could help Maricopa County and cities to get federal funding to provide services for the Valley’s homeless population.