Does it always seem like San Francisco has a plethora of homeless people? It definitely feels like we have more homeless than any city in the country. Well, now you can help find out exactly how many homeless men and women we really do have. This Thursday the city will be embarking on their bi-annual Homeless Count from 7pm – 12am, and they need volunteers.

Why does San Francisco count its homeless, and how will this information be used? All cities and counties receiving federal funding to provide housing and services for the homeless are required to conduct a bi-annual count of homeless persons living in the street and in shelters and other programs during the final week of January 2011. This information helps the federal government better understand the nature and extent of homelessness nationwide. Locally, the homeless count helps inform the allocation of resources for services to help the homeless, and provides a means of measuring the impact of homeless programs and services. [SF Gov]

There will be a one-hour training from 7-8pm, and then you’ll be hitting the streets. What will happen during the count? On the night of the count teams of volunteers will cover assigned routes, counting homeless individuals observed on the street across the city. Depending on the area, some volunteers will walk, and some will drive.

The city has 350 volunteers signed up, but needs 500. If you’re interested – or for more information – call (415) 558-2346 or e-mail [email protected]

For more info, go here.