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How Many People Are Homeless In Chicago? City Asks For Help Finding Out

By Heather Cherone | January 10, 2017 5:31am
 Gary, a homeless man, walks in Wicker Park.
Gary, a homeless man, walks in Wicker Park.
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DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser

CHICAGO — Volunteers are needed to help count the number of homeless people in Chicago, city officials said.

City officials and volunteers will fan out from 8 p.m.-2 a.m. Jan. 26 across the city to count the number of people who search public spaces and streets, parks, viaducts, CTA buses, and trains to count and interview people who do not have "a fixed, regular and adequate place to sleep" or "regularly spends the night in a shelter, similar institution, or a place not meant for human habitation," the federal definition of homelessness.

The count will help determine how much federal funding Chicago will get to help homeless men, women and children find permanent homes, officials said.

According to the 2016 homeless count, 5,889 people were experiencing homelessness in January compared with 6,786 the year before.


Downtown community areas including Loop and Near North Side were near the top of the list of neighborhoods with the largest homeless populations. Uptown's share of the homeless population has more than doubled and accounts for 9.4 percent of all homeless people in Chicago, according to the 2016 count.

For more information, call 312-746-6685 go to cityofchicago.org/fss or email homelesscount@cityofchicago.org.

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