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How many people are homeless in Fresno and Madera? A tally happens this week

The need for donated blankets never ends for Fresno's Poverello House

Watch as Fresno's Poverello House quickly distributes donated blankets Friday, Dec 22, 2017. Shane Guthrey with Poverello House operations said if you have extra blankets, they are always needed, especially this season. For more information, www.p
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Watch as Fresno's Poverello House quickly distributes donated blankets Friday, Dec 22, 2017. Shane Guthrey with Poverello House operations said if you have extra blankets, they are always needed, especially this season. For more information, www.p

The Fresno Madera Continuum of Care this week will collect data on the number of families and people who are homeless in its annual Street and Shelter Point-in-Time Count.

The two-night, one-day “point in time” tally will give the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development an estimate of how many people are known to be homeless so funds can be distributed to the nonprofit agencies that serve such people.

About 100 volunteers hit the streets Tuesday to conduct the “tally” portion of the project. On Wednesday and Thursday the volunteers will hand out questionnaires to collect more information from people without a home.

Results from the tally and surveys typically are released to the public in the fall.

Two local taco trucks form the Taco Truck Throwdown, El Jaliciense and El Premio Mayor, rolled up, opened their kitchens and served free tacos and burritos to the homeless outside Fresno's Poverello House Friday night.

Numbers from the 2017 survey were released in August. Last year, the report found Fresno’s homeless population rose by nearly 20 percent. The survey estimated about 1,572 people in the city were homeless, an increase of about 250 from 2016.

The Continuum of Care is made up of about 30 groups that serve the homeless and work to provide housing for people without shelter. The continuum also creates awareness about homeless people and their needs and develops strategies for a permanent solution to homelessness.

Brianna Calix: 559-441-6166, @BriannaCalix

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