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Local government agencies and nonprofit groups are hoping to get a snapshot of the number of homeless residents in Lodi, and in San Joaquin County as a whole.

Officials and volunteers are also hoping to connect local homeless with services, housing and shelter information, food, clothing and other assistance.

To that end, they’re inviting homeless Lodians to an event from 8 a.m. to noon Wednesday at the Lodi Armory, 333 N. Washington St. Volunteers will take a survey of those who attend, and work to connect them with programs and services that might help them.

Food will be provided by the Salvation Army, and clothing such as boots and jackets will be available. Organizations including Central Valley Low Income Housing Corporation, homeless health care organization Care Link, the Salvation Army and several veterans’ assistance groups will be at the event.

The nationwide count is taken every two years. In January 2013, the count found that 1,541 people in San Joaquin County were homeless, and 263 of them were unsheltered. This is down from 2011, when the county recorded 2,641 homeless residents, and 347 of that number were unsheltered.

Unsheltered homeless residents are those who are not in emergency shelters or transitional housing, according to the county Community Development Department.

“Those are the people who are much more difficult to identify and to count,” said Bill Mendelson, chairman of the homeless count committee and executive director of Central Valley Low Income Housing Corp.

The count helps to give a clearer picture of homeless nationwide. In San Joaquin County, it ensures that funding will be available for local assistance programs and services — usually between $4 and $5 million per year, Mendelson said.

The information gathered by the county is distributed to local communities and nonprofit organizations, as well as to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which in turn shares it with Congress.

Other events will be held from 9 a.m. to noon today at the Tracy Community Center, noon to 2 p.m. today at Library Park in Manteca, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at St. Mary’s Interfaith Dining Room in Stockton.

News-Sentinel staff writer Wes Bowers contributed to this report.



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