SAN ANTONIO – Hundreds of volunteers are taking part in what's known as the Point in Time count, an annual census designed to keep track of the number of homeless people in our community.
Fifty teams were spread out to assigned counting zones where homelessness is most abundant.
The volunteers consisted of many area organizations escorted by San Antonio police officers to ensure safety as they go out and engage with the homeless population.
The volunteers provided resources such as blankets, goody bags and even a resource guide for the homeless people, while at the same time tracking those with mental illnesses and substance abuse, among other issues.
"I am by myself, just trying to start over and clear my mind. For me, it is a lot of mental issues I have to iron out, but I see myself getting better,” said Tyron Mauldin, a homeless man.
This year’s count introduced Street Medicine San Antonio, which has emergency medical technician-certified medical students riding along to evaluate medical needs and provide basic treatment out of a backpack.
“(It’s) still a busy time for us, where we are preparing reports and are still in classes right now. We thought this was a great opportunity to get out into the community and to provide some service that is in our scope of practice,” said Hasan Yakub, a volunteer.
The main goal is to measure the community's overall progress to help end homelessness.
Last year, Bexar County saw an increase in the homeless population, which totaled 3,066. That was up by over 300 people in comparison to 2017. Volunteers and officials are hoping to decrease that number this year.