Volunteers fan out to count Orange County's homeless


Michele Townsend sensed the presence of people sleeping in vans and motor homes parked near a Starbucks where she gets her morning coffee. She wondered about their lives.

On Saturday, Townsend got some of her questions about the homeless answered.

She took part in the Point-In-Time Count and Survey that the Department of Housing and Urban Development requires every two years. Townsend joined about 1,000 volunteers who headed out in the darkness at 4:30 a.m., armed with pen and paper, flashlights, and bottles of water.

Like many other volunteers, it was her first time talking with street people.

“You know that there’s homeless people out there,” said Townsend, director of community relations for Pacific Life. “But to see it up close and talk to people, it just makes it more human.”

Beyond raising awareness, the Point-In-Time snapshot drives HUD’s…



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