Need plans for January 29th? Use your free time to help the homeless community in Jackson.

Laura Reaume of Community Action Agency told MLive the annual count of homeless individuals in the community is important as it determines funding organizations in Jackson get from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

So if you don't have any plans for Wednesday, Jan. 29th and want a simple way to lend a helping hand, they need about 100 people to volunteer to get the most accurate count they can, as stated by Rev. Jamin Bradley, of 1208 Greenwood Free Methodist Church.

According to Bradley, there is no pre-registration necessary to volunteer, just show up and you will be given instructions on how to count and which routes to take.

Counting and documentation is actually pretty simple, you just fill out the form with names, gender and birthdates to avoid double-counting and if someone refuses to give any information, at least a description gets written down.

The event is more than just going around an counting, though, as it shows the dire situations some of the homeless individuals are in and how much people are in need.

Reaume said last year the count was held during a polar vortex and they discovered over a dozen people living outside with no shelter.

“It’s not always hiding under bridges or in forests, some of the places we’ve thought in the past. It’s right downtown," said Bradley. "That’s all the more reason a bigger group might be more helpful to find as many as we can to ensure that the funds that we need are able to come in.”

Funding is "competitive" which is why the bigger the group to count, the more data they have and the more money is granted to help your fellow human beings.

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