Volunteers are needed to help gather information about the region’s homeless population and those on the verge of becoming homeless in Pierce County.
More than 200 volunteers are needed to help Jan. 29 with the countywide survey, which will happen at six events in Tacoma, Lakewood, Gig Harbor and Spanaway.
The counts will be done at meal sites, day shelters, health clinics and the streets.
Data collected , called the Point in Time survey, offers a snapshot of homeless issues in the county.
The information will be used in determining how to address local homelessness, including how to use public and private money for homeless housing and services.
In 2015, volunteers recorded 757 homeless individuals and 154 homeless families with 314 children.
The survey is done by the Pierce County Department of Community Connections and the Tacoma-Lakewood-Pierce County Continuum of Care to End Homelessness.
Volunteers must attend an orientation to learn the reasons for the survey, the data-collection process and safety information. Counts done in targeted neighborhoods will pair volunteers with outreach professionals.
Remaining orientation sessions are Friday (Jan. 22) 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Monday (Jan. 25) 6 to 7:30 p.m. Both sessions are at 3602 Pacific Ave. in Tacoma.
The county is accepting donations of personal items to give to homeless people. Items needed include clothes, blankets, sleeping bags, duffel bags, non-perishable food, bottled water, can openers, towels, flashlights, batteries and toiletries.
Donations can be dropped off 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at MDC learning center, 721 S. Fawcett St., Suite 204 in Tacoma; or at the University of Washington Tacoma’s Cherry Parkes building, 1900 Commerce St., Office 302 in Tacoma.
To volunteer, contact Valerie Pettit at Pierce County Community Connections at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 253-798-7658.