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San Joaquin County is seeking volunteers to help with next week’s biennial Point-in-Time Count, an attempt to take a census of unsheltered people in the county.

Volunteers have until Friday, Jan. 21, to sign up. The counts will be held from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 25, at Manteca City Hall; from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday at Gravity Church in Lodi; and from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday at Tracy City Hall and Tracy Community Connections Center.

The final count will be held from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 31 at the Stockton Memorial Civic Auditorium as well as at Alliance Church.

To adequately conduct the count, 500 or more volunteers are needed to gather the information.

“We want to make sure that we have the capacity to conduct a more accurate count compared to other years,” said Zuleima Flores-Abid with United Way of San Joaquin.

She said in past years there have been approximately 300-400 volunteers but more are needed.

The count data allows the county to understand the problems and barriers facing people who lack a permanent residence and identify areas where services and support are most needed, according to the San Joaquin County Continuum of Care, the county agency that oversees the count.

“Every state is mandated to conduct a count in order to receive federal or state funding to help tackle homelessness,” Flores-Abid said.

To locate unsheltered people, Flores-Abid said volunteers use information from outreach workers visiting encampments weekly and from law enforcement, nonprofits and other organizations.

Volunteers must be at least 18 years old. For more information text “PIT” to 40403, call 209-320-6212 or sign up online.