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HOPE survey of homeless in NYC needs volunteers, DHS says

The HOPE survey will disperse volunteers between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. to help tally the number of homeless New Yorkers on the streets.

Volunteers counted an estimated 3,892 unsheltered New Yorkers

Volunteers counted an estimated 3,892 unsheltered New Yorkers last year for the HOPE survey on the night of Feb. 6, 2017. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Spencer Platt

The city is looking for volunteers to scout the streets next week in efforts to tally an accurate number of homeless New Yorkers.

The annual HOPE survey will take place on Jan. 22 between 10 p.m. and 4. a.m., and the Department of Homeless Services says it wants to make sure they have the most up to date information to help with their ongoing efforts to reduce the homeless population.

“It can take months of persistent, compassionate outreach and hundreds of contacts to build the trust that will encourage a New Yorker experiencing street homelessness to accept services and comes indoors,” Department of Homeless Services Administrator Joslyn Carter said in a statement.

Volunteers can sign up with the city at, or by calling 311. The survey is mandated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the data will be released later this summer.

Last year’s HOPE survey identified an estimated 3,892 unsheltered individuals in the city during the night of Feb. 6, 2017. Although that number represented a nearly 1,100 jump from the 2016 count, it was roughly 500 less than the count in 2005, the first year the survey took place.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has pledged to provide additional resources in the fight against rising homelessness, including setting up more temporary shelters, and hiring more outreach workers.


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