PBC census focuses on homeless

By Alex Zequeira email
Posted by Rachel Leigh email

PALM BEACH COUNTY, FL (WFLX) - A census is being conducted in Palm Beach County Wednesday night. But, it's not the kind you're thinking about, this census is focusing on homeless people.

About 150 volunteers hit the streets of Palm Beach County to count the number of homeless people.

Without a doubt, a daunting task, but a necessary one to get the proper amount of federal funding to help the homeless.

The volunteers split up into teams to conduct the annual count of Palm Beach Counties homeless population. They scoured the county's homeless shelters, camps and food pantries to try and get as accurate a count as possible.

The volunteers offered free food and gift cards to buy hygeine products, so that they could attract homeless to come out and participate in the census.

The more accurate the count is, the better chance the county has of getting grant money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Volunteers say one of the hardest parts of conducting the census is not scaring homeless people away.

Volunteers with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Homeless Outreach unit did participate in the count, and, they say, that usually, when a homeless person sees law enforcement, they like to run away. But for the most part, volunteers say, they have been pretty successful in getting homeless folks to participate.

Right now, they are out conducting surveys at a several soup kitchens hoping that more free food will draw out more homeless people.