Dozens of people may be sleeping under bridges and in woods around Albany. It's hard to say exactly how many.
That's why the Albany-Dougherty Coalition to end Homelessness started an effort to count the homeless population, Monday night.
The group wants to identify their needs and make sure our area gets its fair share of government money to help the homeless.
City of Albany workers and volunteers fed homeless members of the community at three locations in the city.
In addition to providing a good meal, they wanted to get a better count of the homeless population, so programs here can get adequate state and federal funding to help the homeless.
"The homeless is our largest population. We have a large population of homeless families and individuals here and they need to be able to access services and resources, but for us to be able to give them the items they need we need to increase the amount of funding coming into Albany," said Community Services Specialist Ciceli Brown.
Rob Gresham is a volunteer with the non-profit organization Mission Change. He was out this evening helping to fill out paperwork necessary to receive those funds.
"It's important for us to get the people in Atlanta and in our government to hear what's really going on here to make a difference and they best way to do that is to volunteer and fill out these surveys," said Gresham.
Volunteering with Mission Change, Gresham has worked closely to those in need. He says the homeless population can contribute to the prosperity of the city if they have a proper home and work skills.
"I've had the chance and a lot of opportunities to befriend some of these people and they can really make a difference in our community if we can get the funding here and point them in the right direction," said Gresham.
"Once we have those families stable, I think it will boost the economy especially in the Albany area. Those families will then be contributing to our community," said Brown.
The City of Albany will continue the count until next Monday, hitting the streets to look for homeless people.
City of Albany workers say this count takes place every two years and unfortunately they're expecting a rise in the number of homeless here in Albany versus in 2011.
The survey is anonymous and confidential.
If you know someone who needs to be counted or you want to volunteer to help, call Ciceli Brown at (229) 483-7650.