Daily Pilot: Costa Mesa Homeless Interviewed, Counted

A consortium of churches and Vanguard University are trying to quantify the problem of homelessness in Costa Mesa’s borders

By Bradley Zint
DAILY PILOT

An initiative created by the Churches Consortium and Vanguard University is attempting to address Costa Mesa’s homeless population, one person and one interview at a time.

The volunteer-run YOU Count program involves taking a census of the city’s homeless population, followed by in-person interviews. The program is in its first year after a trial run last year.

The census portion began Monday. About 50 people took to the streets early that morning to provide an estimate of how many homeless are in the city.

“There’s no extrapolating data, no mathematical equations,” said Becks Heyhoe, a YOU Count organizer and director of the Churches Consortium, an alliance of churches mostly from Costa Mesa. “It’s literally who you see.”

Then throughout the week came the 44 interviewers who asked questions based on a five-page survey created by Vanguard sociology professor Ed Clarke.

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