Participating in San Diego's 2016 annual count and interviews of homeless people ranks near the top of most memorable and thought-provoking highlights of my year.   Once again I encourage all fellow Rotarians to seriously consider registering to participate in the 2017 WeAllCount Point-in-Time count or interviews.
                                                                  Ann de Peyster
 
 
The count takes place on Friday, January 27 and interviews on January 27-February 1. The online registration deadline posted at http://www.rtfhsd.org/volunteer/ is January 13. Registering early should give you the most choices of location and opportunities to complete the very simple mandatory training that allows you to be part of a counting team and, if you so choose, conduct interviews at a separate time.
 
Go to http://rtfh.volunteerhub.com/events/index if you want to see locations still needing volunteers. 
 
Yes, counting in the wee hours of the morning requires an early start (4 am) but you'll be finished by 7 am.  Lost sleep can be made up, but I know of no substitute for an unforgettable experience like this.  The separate interviews taking place over several days are scheduled for later times during those days when people are up and about.   That was the most unforgettable part for me.   I guarantee you'll meet some of the more interesting people in our county.  You will also gain firsthand new insights on the homeless that are hard to fully appreciate by simply reading about the challenges faced by people in homeless situations while sitting on your comfy sofa at home. 

You may have noticed that San Diego county's homeless population has been in the news with increasing frequency over the past year, in part because of several tragic deaths of innocent homeless people.  The WeAllCount program is San Diego's version of the annual national Point-in-Time Count and is managed by the Regional Task Force on the Homeless of San Diego.  Last year the RTFH did a phenomenal job of coordinating the nearly 1,600 volunteers needed for counting and interviews to com up with a statistically reliable, unduplicated count that allows San Diego to get federal support for programs to alleviate problems of homelessness and guide numerous local organizations trying to tackle this very complex problem.