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Thousands of volunteers to participate in HOPE Count, annual count of homeless in NYC

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NEW YORK -- Street homelessness is the public face of a crisis.

So Monday night, thousands of volunteers will fan out across the city to count the number of people living on the city’s streets.

It will be a challenge.

The count will presumably be, not including those streets in the Northern Inwood section of Manhattan, far from the glitz and glam of midtown, where homelessness is more likely to catch your attention.

Charles Corliss is executive director of Inwood Community Services, which focuses on clinical work, such as substance abuse and mental health issues, two of the frequent stepping stones, to a life on the streets.

“The reality is, the economic situation in this community is such that more and more people are having difficulty paying their rent,” Corliss said.

Tonight’s 11th annual “Hope Count” is taking place not just here, but across the country, where states count the street homeless in order to qualify for federal funding and services.

This year, in New York City, the count is a essentially practice run for "HomeStat," a new daily street homeless count program instituted by the de Blasio administration and overseen by Human Resources Administration Commissioner Steven Banks.