The count is designed to help cities estimate how many people are living in homelessness on any given day.
The data from the Point-in-Time count is submitted to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and is combined with other counts at the state and national level. The department requires all communities that apply to use its funding for serving the homeless to count the unsheltered and sheltered homeless on one night that falls within the last 10 days of January.
Volunteers canvass the streets, parking lots and local shelters to count and survey as many homeless people as possible.
The numbers and data from the count also help communities understand changing trends in homelessness, as well as to measure the success rate of a city making homelessness rare, brief and non-recurring, the Count for Dallas Texas website states.
Teams for the count consist of four people aged 18 or above in Collin County and Dallas, and can be teams of 3-5 in Tarrant County. Many counties require a training before the count. Some cities and counties also have opportunities for volunteers to prepare food, hygiene and basic need packages for those found on the night of the count.
For information on signing up to volunteer, click on a county below: