ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. - The 2024 Orange County homeless count began Monday night.
FOX 11's Cristy Fajardo witnessed the moment volunteers discovered two people sleeping in their cars in a local parking lot. One, an elderly man with his dog, declined to participate in the survey, stating he had to get to work. This moment highlights the challenges faced in accurately surveying the unhoused population, many of whom are reluctant to participate.
Despite these difficulties, the survey has provided invaluable insights. Recent findings indicate the unhoused population in Orange County is not only aging but also spending more extended periods on the streets. These surveys, known as 'everyone counts point in time count', offer a snapshot of the current state of homelessness in the county.
Other counties in California conduct similar surveys, with the focus alternating between those in shelters and the unsheltered every other year. In Orange County, the count of the unhoused in shelters began last night.
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Over the next few days, hundreds of volunteers, equipped with gift cards and other incentives, will fan out across the county. Their goal is to gather valuable data that can help address and alleviate the homelessness issue in the region.