SAN FRANCISCO—San Francisco’s Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing is seeking volunteers to partake in its 2017 homeless street count, which will transpire on Thursday, January 26 from 8 p.m. to midnight.

San Francisco’s Point-In-Time Homeless Street Count is considered the most accurate consensus of the city’s homeless population. Volunteers are asked to work in teams of two or three, and walk or drive through their assigned routes from 8 p.m. to midnight, documenting their designated areas’ homeless count.

A mandatory one-hour training seminar will be held the night of the count from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Volunteers should be capable of walking two to three miles and are asked to arrive with a fully charged cellphone.

Volunteer deployment sites include:

  • The Department of Public Health, located at: 101 Grove St., San Francisco 94102
  • Mission High School, located at: 3750 18th St., San Francisco 94114
  • St Ignatius High School, located at: 2001 37th Ave., San Francisco 94116
  • Carver Elementary School, located at: 1360 Oakdale Ave., San Francisco 94124

The Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing is encouraging residents to partake. They tweeted, “Calling all volunteers! HSH needs your help for the ’17 Homeless Point in Time count. Thursday 1/26. Sign up here:”

The Department of Homelessness was launched on July 1, 2016 and vows to fight homelessness in San Francisco through provisions of “coordinated, compassionate, and high-quality services.” The department is looking to make homelessness in the city “rare, brief, and one time,” according to a statement.

An estimated 7,000 homeless people are living in San Francisco. While homelessness in the U.S. has decreased over the past seven years, it has increased in San Francisco, according to a federal report on homelessness published in November 2016. Since 2010, the nation’s homeless population has decreased by 14 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Contrary to HUD’s findings, San Francisco’s homeless population has increased from 5,823 in 2010 to 6,996 this year. California in particular has experienced an increase in its homeless population, largely because of the state’s inflated property values and cost of living.

Volunteers can sign up to partake in the count at the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing’s website by clicking “online registration.”