KILLEEN, Texas — The city of Killeen is taking part in the annual Point-In-Time homeless count to get an estimate for how many Killeen residents are experiencing homelessness.

“Data is very important in helping us to be able to address the problem, you have to know what the scope of the problem is in order to begin to address it,” Killeen Special Projects Coordinator Dashawn Smith said.

The count will take place on Thursday, January 27, to document the homeless population in Killeen, as well as other surrounding towns.

“Those numbers, compiled state wide, is what we need to address,” Smith said. “And that helps us to be able to apply for funding, grants through the HUD (United States Department of Housing and Urban Development). HUD requires this annual point in time count for continuum of care to be able to apply for grants.”

The homeless population was also a big talking point at the city hall workshops Killeen held in the late months of 2021, with many community members voicing their thoughts for a change.

Smith told Fox 44 that they hope the count will not only tell them the amount of people dealing with homelessness but what they can do as a city in the next few months.

“I think there are different stages in addressing homeless so what can we do immediately, that whole strategic planning and we will be working with our regional partners on that,” she said. “But we hope to see that by this information and getting this from our un-house neighbors immediately: what are you telling me that you could use?”

Smith said that with the count, volunteers also hand out kits with toiletries and other necessities and the city is collecting donations of those items.