City of Spokane: how many people are homeless? - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

City of Spokane: how many people are homeless?

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

How can we help the growing number of homeless people in Spokane? It's the big question the city asks itself each year. Starting Thursday, the city and volunteers are taking to the streets and shelters, trying to get an accurate count of just how many have nowhere to go.

"When I first got involved with the homeless community, I didn't know how many people we were talking about. Then I discovered there were between 1,200 homeless adults and then I discovered we had another 3,000 homeless teens in Spokane County," said Maurice Smith, with the Homeless Connect planning committee.

How many homeless people are there in Spokane? The city and volunteers are tracking numbers by having people who are homeless complete online survey's with them.

Smith says it's crucial to know how many people are homeless so they can know how big the problem is. "We need to know how much money we are going to have to spend toward that problem and much of that money comes from federal and state grants and those grants require us to count," said Smith.

Volunteers will try and track down people who are homeless and ask them questions like, is this the first time you've been homeless and what city were you living in the last time you considered yourself to not be homeless?

The city and volunteers will take the next seven days to search for those who are homeless. They'll look for people under bridges, under viaducts, and in homeless shelters. 

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