Volunteers are needed to count the homeless in the community.

The last count was in 2013 when the homeless population topped 320 people, said Ivet Samvelyan, homeless programs supervisor for the city.

Out of that total, 213 were transients who were staying in temporary shelters with various agencies, while 107 of them were living and sleeping on the streets, she said.

This year’s street count will be conducted from 6 to 10 p.m. on Jan. 27 and 4:30 to 7:30 a.m. on Jan. 28.

Mandatory training to participate will be held Thursday at 1 p.m. at Glendale Water & Power,141 N. Glendale Ave., Room 118, which is also known as the Perkins Community room.

FOR THE RECORD: An earlier verrsion of this story stated the training will be held Wednesday. It will take place Thursday.

The count involves volunteers scouring city parks, underground garages and other spots looking for homeless individuals .

Those counted will be asked to fill out a survey to generate more detailed demographics and will be provided with a hygiene kit and blankets, Samvelyan said.

So far, seven volunteers have signed up, but recruiting 25 is the goal, she said. For those interested in volunteering, but who can’t make the training, Samvelyan said she will try to accommodate additional training later.

The total count is necessary when applying for grants to help fund homeless programs within the community, Samvelyan said.

One difference between this year’s count and the one in 2013 will be the lack of a winter shelter, which means fewer transients will likely fall in the sheltered category, she said.

Glendale ran a winter homeless shelter for years until city officials backed out and Ascencia, the largest homeless services provider in the community, took over the reins in 2013.

Earlier this winter, Ascencia was unable to find a suitable location, so the shelter was moved to Pacoima to be run by the Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission.

In December, a bus stop was set up at 5101 San Fernando Road to transport local transients to the Pacoima shelter

Natalie Profant Komuro, Ascencia’s executive director, said her case workers have noticed that not many transients are taking advantage of the bus ride to Pacoima.

“What they’re seeing is light attendance,” she said. “When we go over there to check the pick-up spot, it’s hasn’t been particularly crowded.”

For more information about the homeless-count training, call Samvelyan at (818) 548-3720.

January 6, 2015

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