The federally-mandated homeless census — called the Point in Time count — takes place around the country Wednesday.
Jacksonville-based Changing Homelessness is responsible for locating people living on the streets in Duval, Nassau and Clay counties.
The organization’s Michelle Query said last year they counted nearly 1,900 people living unsheltered.
She said there’s growing concern the number will be larger this year. “We won’t know if there’s an uptick in people living on the streets until we actually conduct the count. But based on the information we’re getting from our partner agencies and law enforcement, we feel like the trend is there.”
Numbers aside, Query said the count will also provide some insight into why homelessness might be happening.
“As we encounter people during the count and we survey, we learn more about them and their situation and how they came to be where they are that day. And that helps us assess our community as a whole and the needs of our homeless community.”
Volunteers will be out with their clipboards and flashlights starting at 5 a.m. Wednesday in Jacksonville, Orange Park and the Beaches.