Counting Houston's homeless and understanding why they're on the streets

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Coalition for the Homeless wants to help get Houston's homeless off the streets, and understand why they're living there to begin with.

The 2017 Homeless Count and Survey began Tuesday.

The goal is to count the homeless population within the 610 Loop. They also want to get an understanding of why those people living on the streets are homeless.

Volunteers will be out connecting with the homeless and asking them a quick survey of questions.

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This population survey is mandated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

It helps determine federal funding to Houston that can go towards providing aid to the homeless.

This will be a three-day process and will expand to Fort Bend and Montgomery counties.

In Houston recently homelessness has become a hot topic. The city has battled to rid the streets of homeless camps for some time now.

The city passed an ordinance against camping and panhandling, but the ACLU filed a lawsuit to stop them. The ordinance was upheld by a federal judge in December.

On Wednesday and Thursday crews will be focused on areas outside of the 610 Loop.

Last year, there were about 3,600 homeless people counted in this same survey. A large majority of them are in shelters.

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