MESA, AZ — On Tuesday, volunteers will count the number of people experiencing homelessness in Maricopa County.
The annual Point-in-Time Homeless Street Count is organized by the Maricopa Association of Governments. Volunteers in 32 jurisdictions will survey people they find in parks, building doorways, and other areas throughout the Valley. The count is required for cities to get federal funding for homeless assistance. It will also help cities get a better idea of what types of resources they need to provide and in which parts of the valley.
The event was canceled last year because of the pandemic, but according to the Maricopa Association of Governments, in 2020 there were about 7,400 people experiencing homelessness on one night in Maricopa County. That number jumped by almost a thousand, compared to numbers in 2019. There was a 7% increase for those in shelters and an 18% increase for those not staying in shelters.
It could be a couple of months until the data is compiled and numbers for 2022 are released.