Homeless count expected to take place at the end of January - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Homeless count expected to take place at the end of January

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(AP Photo) (AP Photo)

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The Regional Task Force on the Homeless put out the call for volunteers for its annual count of San Diego County's homeless population.

The WeAllCount census of the homeless is scheduled for Jan. 29, between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m. Results from the survey determine government funding levels for local agencies and community organizations.

"Eliminating homelessness in our community requires a complex understanding of our homeless population and factors that led to them being where they are," task force Executive Director Dolores Diaz said. "We are committed to accurately counting the homeless in our region, which requires the help of many generous local volunteers."

The task force is looking for 1,600 volunteers, who will count the homeless people they see and take down important information -- such as whether they're veterans, affected by substance abuse or mental illness, and whether they're living on the streets or in shelters.

Prospective volunteers can register at www.rtfh.volunteerhub.com. All training and materials will be provided on site.

Based on 2015 results, the task force estimated that there were 8,742 homeless people in San Diego County -- some on the streets and some sheltered -- an increase of 2.8 percent from the prior year.

In the downtown area, there were an estimated 833 homeless, an increase of 25 percent from 2014 to 2015.

Almost 28 percent of all San Diegans who live on the street suffer from addiction, and one-fifth reported a severe mental illness, the task force reported.

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