LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) -- Volunteers canvassed the valley overnight, taking part in an important census.
Every two years, the area’s homeless population is counted.
The census is done for a couple of reasons. First, it puts the community in line for federal money that can be used for transitional housing. Also, volunteers want to know where our homeless folks are living.
From vacant lots, to under bridges, even in tunnels, crews set out on foot to get the most accurate count possible. hey started about 1 a.m. They don't approach or disturb anyone – just simply count.
Regional Initiatives Coordinator Tyrone Thompson says it can be an eye-opening experience.
“Many times people think that while it should be obvious where the homeless people live, but we do know there is a concentrated area of homeless,” he said, “but I'm sure people are going to be amazed when they go out, the walking teams, and see people in areas you never thought homeless people would be.”
One volunteer said that the Las Vegas valley has the third-largest homeless population in the country. The last count, two years ago, put the figure at just over 9,400. Today's numbers won't be finalized and released until spring.
Volunteers will continue the count Friday morning in rural areas such as Laughlin and Mesquite.