FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) A group of more than 50 people set out to count just how many homeless individuals there are in Fort Wayne.

Thursday, volunteers with the United Way, the Homelessness Collation and the Rescue Mission participated in the Point in Time Count, an annual count of the homeless population in Allen County. It counts the number of individuals in temporary housing, shelters, and those living on the street.

“It’s an opportunity for our community to truly understand the scope of homelessness,” CEO and President of the United Way of Allen County David Nicole said.  “As we look at solving homelessness for our community, understanding the scope of it and understanding the sale of it, that’s critical.”

While specific numbers for homeless individuals in Allen County in 2016 won’t be released until May of this year, the United Way said there has been an increase in homelessness in previous years.

In 2015, there were 586 people considered homeless in Allen County. That breaks down to 48 unsheltered and 329 sheltered individuals.

But Nicole explained that event thought it will take a while for the numbers from 2016 to be in, this day helps people learn about social services they otherwise might not know about.

“It really helps those individuals on the streets get services they need.”

Nicole said the community provided food, clothing, hand warmers and other necessities though donations.