Volunteers were busy Friday accounting for the less fortunate in the Erie community.

Every year, cities that have a homeless coalition conduct a point-in-time count. They work with the various meal service centers and try to find out where homeless people slept the night before. This is a housing and urban development-mandated project.

They do the count so they can receive funding for their housing programs. 

“What we are looking for is to talk to the people that are unsheltered — those who may have been on the streets and slept in the cars in a location like that. We also identify those who slept in shelters, but we count that in a different methodology, and we use databases to collect that,” said George Fickenworth, Mercyhurst University Civic Institute.

Fickenworth added that in their 2022 count, they identified about 300 people in shelters and about 23 that were unsheltered for the night.