SAN ANTONIO -

For the past 30 years the "Point in Time" census has counted the homeless population to determine the number of people who need help.

Now the group is focusing on the number of homeless people under the age of 18.

Dianne Talbert, the director of operations at the Church Under the Bridge, said Thursday that when most people think about homelessness, they think about adult men or women out on the street.

However, Talbert said there's a growing number of young people under the age of 18 who have nowhere to go.

"The juvenile population is definitely an invisible population," said Judge Laura Parker, 386th Juvenile District Court. "They are trying to stay out of sight. They are missing school. They may be on probation. They may have a warrant out. So they are not usually standing on the corner."

Once on the street, many homeless children fall victim to human trafficking, drug use and pregnancy.

"The invisible homeless youth in the community are some of the most vulnerable in our community," said Dr. Janet Realini, president of Healthy Futures of Texas. "They are really at risk for unplanned pregnancy and their children as they grow up are at risk."

According to the National Center on Family Homelessness, there were about 300,000 homeless children in Texas in 2009, but Talbert said people don't always see the kids out on the street, which is why they are going out into the community to count these kids and get them some help.

Next week volunteers will be conducting surveys at the Church Under the Bridge on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

They are asking anyone under 18 that is homeless to come in to get counted and to get some help.

If you'd like to volunteer or donate items, you can call the group at 210-381-0648.

"It's important that anybody who knows these youths, who comes across them in the workplace or sees them in the recreation center or knows where they are camping or sleeping, that they let them know that this count is here," said Talbert.

For a list of recent stories Stephanie Serna has done, click here.