Last year, 31% of the homeless in Collin County were children, and 37 of the 112 kids were between 5 and 10 years old.

City staff and citizens from Plano, Allen, Frisco and McKinney will “hit the streets” on Thursday, January 21 to conduct the annual Homeless Census.

750 Volunteers are needed to help with the point-in-time homeless census and will gather for training before the count. The count is a coordinated effort with the Collin County Homeless Coalition and the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance, and a requirement by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The census provides critical information for homeless service planning, community awareness and federal grant eligibility.

Both sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons are surveyed and counted, which functions as a vital snapshot of the state of homelessness in Collin County. During the count, volunteers will be conducting surveys and providing personal care packages (toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, socks, gloves and granola bars) to the homeless individuals and families they meet.

The 2015 Homeless Census showed a shocking 367 persons experienced homelessness in Collin County. Although the number of homeless in our area continues to decrease with 2012 holding the record at 531, we need to keep making a difference, and volunteering at the census is a step in decreasing these numbers.

Interested in helping? Register for the 2016 Homeless Count, and you will find out when and where training will be.

2016 Homeless Count

When: Thursday, January 21, 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Where: One of three staging sites found here. You will be told which site to report to.

Colbea Smith

Colbea Smith is a young professional who grew up in Plano and loves the community she will always consider “home”. She is a proud alumna of Texas State University – Go Bobcats! – who spent most...