Volunteers count more than 2,900 homeless people in Sonoma County

Volunteers with the Sonoma County Community Development Commission are conducting a point-in-time homeless count tonight and Friday.

The count includes a shelter and institutional count tonight before street counts of all census tracts in Sonoma County on Friday.

The 150 volunteers and homeless people paid to take part in the county will meet at 6 a.m. Friday at one of the five deployment centers.

Teams will canvass the streets on foot or by car, and a special effort will be made to count adolescent and teenage homeless youth.

This year’s count also will include a survey of approximately 600 homeless people over the following two weeks. Final results of the count are expected in May.

Sonoma County receives about $3.1 million in federal grants annually through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the homeless count.

The January 2016 homeless count identified 2,906 homeless people.

About one-third were sheltered in emergency shelters or transitional housing, and two-thirds were unsheltered and living on the street, in abandoned buildings, cars or vans or encampment areas.