PHOENIX — An Arizona government agency will soon begin its annual count of the homeless population in an attempt to put a number to an often overlooked community.
The Maricopa Association of Governments will begin its annual Point-In-Time homeless street and shelter count on Jan. 25 and 26 to learn more about the causes of homelessness in Maricopa County and develop efforts to prevent it.
Anne Scott with the Maricopa Association of Governments said the nearly 500 volunteers who will participate in the count will be asking the homeless population about their personal information, what led to their homelessness and determine their needs.
“At the same time, we’ll be going into shelters and transitional housing and reporting on those numbers as well so that we know both of our sheltered count and unsheltered count in Maricopa County,” she said. “This would include desert areas, on the streets, abandoned buildings, in their cars, and places not meant for human habitation.”
The 2014 homeless count found 5,918 people experienced homelessness in Maricopa County, with 1,053 reported sleeping on streets and 4,865 in shelters. Of the more than 5,000 homeless, 1,819 were children.