SANTA MONICA (CBS) — Volunteers will hit the streets of Santa Monica on Wednesday night to take part in annual count of the homeless population.
An estimated 200 volunteers are needed to help Santa Monica conduct the undertaking required by the federal government every two years for cities that receive federal funding.
Officials said the homeless population has dropped by 19 percent since the city first began the count in 2009.
Volunteers will be given the option of conducting the survey by foot or by car through every square block in the city.
Over 1,200 homeless people were counted in 2011, with approximately 740 people living on the city’s streets and over 450 housed in shelters, cars and encampments.
Officials have traditionally used the count to monitor trends in the local homeless population and to raise awareness of the issue.
This year’s count will be conducted between 10:30 p.m. Wednesday night to 2:30 a.m. Thursday morning beginning with a kickoff event at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium.
Anyone interested in volunteering can sign up by visiting the city’s official website.