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Orange County looking for volunteers to help with homeless census

Orange County looking for volunteers to help with homeless census
Orange County will lead an effort to complete a homeless count at the end of January. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Orange County is searching for thousands of volunteers to take a census of the homeless on Jan. 23 and 24.

The biennial Point In Time homeless count will provide the county with updated numbers and demographics on the homeless population to help guide its response to the growing issue. The count is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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The county will work with City Net, 2-1-1 Orange County and the Hub for Urban Initiatives.

The public can volunteer to work as team captains, field surveyors, deployment center support, videographers and photographers. Volunteers will work about five hours.

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People can also donate hygiene kits that will be distributed by City Net during the census.

The majority of the count will take place on Jan. 23 with a follow-up on Jan. 24. The census will include people living on the streets and in shelters.

It will break down the number of people experiencing homelessness, their locations and demographics such as age, veteran status and physical or mental health disabilities.

Volunteers are also being asked to spread the word about the effort in a social media campaign called “Everyone Counts.”

City Net has taken part in past Point In Time counts. The last count in 2017 recorded 4,792 homeless people. City Net also designed the maps that will be used for the count by working with outreach organizations, homeless service providers and local law enforcement, among other agencies.

Training sessions for volunteers will be held at 9 a.m. Jan. 12, 6:30 p.m. Jan. 16 and 7:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Jan. 17 at the OC Animal Care Training Center, 1630 Victory Road, Tustin and EvFree Fullerton, 801 North Brea Blvd., Fullerton.

Additional sessions will be held at 9 a.m. Jan. 12, 6:30 p.m. Jan. 16 and 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Jan. 17 at the Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center, 24932 Veterans Way, Mission Viejo.

To volunteer, visit everyonecountsoc.org/new-page.

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