San Jose mayor and hundreds of volunteers take part in biennial homeless census in Santa Clara County

Tuesday, January 29, 2019
San Jose mayor, hundreds of volunteers, take part in homeless census
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Hundreds of volunteers are helping out with the biennial homeless point-in-time census in Santa Clara County.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Hundreds of volunteers started early this morning to help out with the biennial homeless point-in-time census in Santa Clara County.

Community organizations and other volunteers this morning will help collect information on people living in emergency shelters and transitional housing, as well as people sleeping on the streets, in cars, abandoned properties and other places.

This is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development of all jurisdictions receiving federal funding for housing and services for people experiencing homelessness.

The last count in Santa Clara County in 2017 showed there were 7,394 homeless persons. 4,350 of them live in San Jose.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo is taking part in the count.

"We believe here in San Jose that everyone counts. And too often we disregard and ignore people who are on our streets and in our parks, behind the store. And we need to ensure that everyone counts and that we're keeping track of everyone," said Liccardo.

Santa Clara County also does a survey of homeless individuals after the census is completed. That helps them understand the demographics of people living on the streets.

District 5 city council member, Magdalena Carrasco, and other volunteers counted in her district in East San Jose.

"Right now, we don't have all the funds that we need in order to house them or to provide wraparound services, and so this is very, very important," said Carrasco.

The count will take place today and Wednesday mornings.

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Links to 2017 Homeless Census information:

LINK: 2017 Santa Clara County homeless census summary

LINK: 2017 San Jose homeless census summary