Homeless count completed in Chicago

January 23, 2013 5:56:10 AM PST
Hundreds of volunteers wrapped up the effort to count the city's homeless population Wednesday morning.

Many homeless people are staying at shelters during the bitter cold.

The Chicago Department of Family and Support Services along with 200-plus volunteers hit the streets Tuesday night to find out how many homeless people are in Chicago.

The numbers help determine the federal funding the city gets for services. The survey was last done two years ago and showed 5,000 homeless people in the city.

Officials say there is a reason why it is done during the brutal deep freeze.

"It's easier to count individuals in a shelter. Everyone can be easily counted. There are lots of individuals on the street, but HUD mandates we do it on the last ten days of January so that you can compare our data to the other continuums around the country doing it at the same time. In other words, our data is comparable to that in Boston, New York and warmer climates like L.A. and Miami," said Adriana Camarda, homeless count organizer.

The numbers are not expected to be released for awhile, but the city said it is a reminder to everybody to bundle up in these cold conditions.