TEMPLE — While Jacki Scott was at St. Vincent de Paul in Temple on Thursday picking up groceries for her extended family, she took part in the annual point-in-time survey with the help of volunteer Jeannette Kelley.

Kelley, a board member of Helping Hands in Belton, was one of about 25 volunteers who assisted in getting an accurate count of homeless people in the community. Scott has lived in Temple since 1977.

Her sister and her children from Dallas moved in with Scott last year after they lost their jobs and their possessions.

Scott, a veteran’s widow, has had problems getting her disability funding.

“I didn’t lose my house because my son has taken

over the payments,” she said. “That’s been a blessing.”

There are now two additional people living with Scott — her sister and nephew. The niece is staying with Scott’s son.

“The groceries are a big help,” she said. “It’s been a struggle, but we’re a close-knit family.”

Volunteers gathered Thursday morning at the HELP Center in Temple before heading out to survey the Temple homeless.

In addition to surveying people at St. Vincent de Paul, volunteers in east Bell County were visiting churches with food pantries, agencies, shelters, and outdoor and indoor areas where homeless are known to live or stay during the day.

“This is an extremely important event,” said Steve Wick, interim director of the Temple HELP Center.

The homeless were being counted throughout the country on Thursday under the direction of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“This survey represents a snapshot of the thousands of people on the streets, in shelters and other locations where we know the homeless congregate,” he said.

Because it’s impossible to count every homeless person, information from local surveys is sent to the Texas Homeless Network.

The network uses a formula to make an educated guess on a realistic number.

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