SAN ANTONIO – Hundreds of volunteers were out on the streets Thursday night in an effort to find out more about the homeless population in San Antonio and Bexar County.
The Point in Time Count is an annual census conducted by the South Alamo Regional Alliance for the Homeless (SARAH).
More than 400 volunteers, along with San Antonio police escorts, were sent out to different zones around Bexar County.
The goal was to find out where homeless groups are gathering and what they needed.
Last year’s figures showed that the number of homeless people went down, but the number of homeless families went up.
Teresa Dominguez says she and her partner, Freddy Duron, have lived in a drainage ditch off Sahara Street for three years.
“It’s degrading to be out here,” Dominguez said
The couple is homeless and say they have struggled to find food, a place to bathe and a place where they belong.
“They look at me and turn around and go the other way because they think I’m going to ask for money,” said Duron.
Darron Fritz, a volunteer with the PIT count, said, “Homeless people almost feel invisible.”
“Many of them want to get back on their feet and get back in and have a place to stay,” Fritz said.
Patty Simmons lives near Duron and Dominguez and described them as “friends of the neighborhood.“ She said their living circumstances shouldn’t justify a lack of compassion.
“It doesn’t mean that it’s bad. It just means they’re different than us,” Simmons said.
Dominguez said she was grateful for PIT volunteers, but said she and Duron are “homeless, not helpless.”
“I have hope. I have to hope we are going to get out of here,” she said.