TEMPLE — The 2013 Point-In-Time survey last year indicated there were an estimated 416 homeless people in Bell County. This year’s count will be Jan. 23.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, requires the counts and surveys use the Point-In-Time method, with the count taking place throughout the country during the same 24-hour period. HUD uses information from the counts to award grants for homeless initiatives.

Kaye Cathey, president of the Central Texas Homeless Alliance, said preliminary plans for the area count were discussed at Wednesday’s alliance meeting.

Groups were assigned to perform the counts in different areas of town — known locations where homeless people congregate and live, the VA domiciliary, feeding programs and others. There is always a need for volunteers to help with the count, Cathey said. Anyone interested in assisting Jan. 23 or who wants to donate personal hygiene items and socks to be given out to those surveyed should send a message to feastofhope@gmail.com.

The Belton, Temple and Killeen school districts had representatives at the alliance meeting to discuss the homeless counts at the school districts.

The information gathered from the school districts on homeless students is limited to grade, gender and nighttime living arrangements.

The survey responses do not represent the total homeless population, so estimates are provided in released reports.

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