Count of homeless in Phoenix area will identify needed funding, services

Posted: Updated:
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- Hundreds of volunteers fanned out across Maricopa County Tuesday morning as part of a massive effort to count homeless people sleeping on the streets.

Coordinated by the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), the count utilized volunteer teams that included city, county and state agencies, faith- and community-based organizations, businesses and private residents.

The volunteers canvassed areas identified to likely have homeless individuals who are living unsheltered on the streets.

The homeless street count will provide a snapshot of the number of people sleeping without shelter at any given night in the region. Last year, volunteers identified 1,581 homeless men, women and children living on the streets, according to officials.

The count included both a homeless street and shelter count. The information will be used to acquire the needed federal funding to help end homelessness in the area.

"The homeless street count is critical in our collective work toward ending homelessness in the region," said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. "The results from the count will help us to better understand the widespread nature of homelessness, identify trends, and help target critical funding and services to those most in need."

The homeless street count was conducted from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.