KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Hundreds of volunteers with the Greater Kansas City Coalition to End Homelessness are working to count the number of people experiencing homelessness in the Kansas City area as part of their annual point-in-time count.

The count helps organizations understand how many people need housing, other vital resources, and their demographics.

“We need them to be seen, we give the items that they don’t normally get, even a can opener,” Patricia Hernandez, Greater Kansas City Coalition to End Homelessness, said. “Just you know…something that they’re seen.”

They’re visiting camps and shelters across the metro, learning more about who they are, and give them some resources to get by. Leaders say they see an increase in the count every year.

“What we’re also seeing is an uptick in families and children that are outside and seniors because a lot of the affordable housing in our community are not affordable anymore,” Amber Bauer, Greater Kansas City Coalition to End Homelessness, said.

The goal is to give scope to the problem of the number of people experiencing homelessness and help policy makers and outreach programs track progress toward ending the problem. Bauer said they’re expecting to count around 500 to 1,000 people.

After the group finishes the count, the data from the surveys will be compiled and analyzed to show leaders exactly what resources are need in the community.