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Homeless count in Hillsborough, Pinellas begins today

Volunteer Melissa Brass asks questions of Robert Gatlin about his homelessness Thursday in downtown Tampa. Every two years, Florida counties are required by law to take a census of the people living in their network of shelters, as well as on the streets and in the woods.

SKIP O’ROURKE | Times

Volunteer Melissa Brass asks questions of Robert Gatlin about his homelessness Thursday in downtown Tampa. Every two years, Florida counties are required by law to take a census of the people living in their network of shelters, as well as on the streets and in the woods.

Volunteers will spread across Pinellas and Hillsborough counties Thursday morning to conduct this year's homeless count.

In Hillsborough, more than 300 volunteers divided into 11 teams will visit the streets often occupied by the homeless, emergency and transitional shelters, and encampments. Homeless people who are surveyed will receive a pair of new socks or a rain poncho, officials said.

In Pinellas, 150 volunteers will also being surveying the homeless. This year, a phone bank will also be available for homeless families to call in and report themselves.

Every two years, Florida counties are required by law to take a census of the people living in their network of shelters, as well as on the streets and in the woods.

In 2011, the most recent homeless number available, volunteers counted 17,775 homeless people in Hillsborough. In Pinellas, 5,887 people were reportedly homeless.

Homeless count in Hillsborough, Pinellas begins today 01/24/13 [Last modified: Thursday, January 24, 2013 10:52am]

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