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Volunteers needed for Maricopa County's annual homelessness count

The Maricopa Association of Governments is  looking for volunteers to help count the number of people experiencing homelessness in the Phoenix area. 

The point-in-time homelessness street count takes place in cities nationwide each January. Volunteers visit parks, alleyways and other areas where unsheltered people tend to sleep to try to get an accurate count of how many people in the region are homeless.

In Maricopa County, these counts have shown the unsheltered population has more than tripled since 2016. That data is critical for government agencies and charitable organizations that are trying to address the region’s growing homelessness crisis.

This year’s count will take place on Jan. 24 starting at 6 a.m. Those interested in volunteering can contact coordinators  through the MAG website.

Katherine Davis-Young is a senior field correspondent. She has produced work for NPR, New England Public Radio, Southern California Public Radio, PRI's The World, Washington Post, Reuters and more.She has a master’s degree in radio journalism from the USC Annenberg School of Journalism.She lives in central Phoenix with her husband, two daughters, and ill-behaved cat and dog. Her side-passions include photography, crosswords and hot sauce.