Volunteers are needed for an upcoming point-in-time count of homeless individuals throughout San Luis Obispo County.
The volunteer-led effort will take place Jan. 26 from 6 to 10 a.m. The count is required to be conducted every two years to gather data on the number of homeless, according to the 5Cities Homeless Coalition, which is serving as coordinating agency for the southern part of the count.
The data serves as a basis for federal funding, for service and resource planning, and to raise public awareness about homelessness, according to a news release from the nonprofit organization.
The Homeless Services Oversight Council of San Luis Obispo counted 2,186 homeless individuals when it conducted a point-in-time count in January 2013. That number was up from the 2,129 recorded during the same count done in 2011.
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Anyone over the age of 18 is qualified to volunteer; experience is not necessary and training is provided. For more information and to sign up, go to http://slohomeless.com.
In addition, the 5Cities Homeless Coalition will soon be opening a winter warming shelter in partnership with the Good Samaritan Shelter in Santa Maria. Volunteers are needed on an on-call basis to help at the warming center and to provide meals there.
It will be located in a conference room at the county’s Department of Social Services office in Arroyo Grande at 1086 E. Grand Ave.
The shelter will be open only on nights when the weather is projected to be exceptionally cold or rain is expected for two or more days. Coalition staff expects that one to 20 people will use the warming shelter on any given night.
To volunteer or learn more, call 710-4330.