The annual point-in-time count, which tallies Wyomingites who are homeless on a given day, is set for Jan. 27.
The count includes people living in homeless shelters as well as those living in parks or cars or under highway bridges, for example. All Wyoming counties will take part.
According to a news release, the event will be led by the Wyoming Homelessness Collaborative as well as Continuum of Care, a program created by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
In the count performed a year ago, local agencies reported that 857 people in Wyoming were homeless – a 48 percent increase from 2010.
According to the department, Wyoming has seen a 14.1 percent increase in homeless families since 2015.
The event affects Wyoming programs that receive HUD dollars because grants are based on the number of homeless people in the state.
Karla McClaren, the homelessness program manager at the Wyoming Department of Family Services, said in a news release that the count “is vital in helping us serve the homeless population of Wyoming and aids us in identifying the gaps in services.”
McClaren said the count gives homelessness programs a view of how they are performing statewide and who is using the current programs and reveal what adjustments need to be made. The count also helps state leaders develop policy and planning decisions.
“This year, we are focusing on including as many people as we can who are struggling with homelessness, focusing especially on youth,” Brenda Lyttle, a senior administrator with the Wyoming Department of Family Services, said in the statement.
Gov. Matt Mead will sign a proclamation at 10:40 a.m. Jan. 26 at the Wyoming Rescue Mission in Casper that declares Jan. 27 as Homeless Count Day in Wyoming.