Oklahoma City participates in nationwide census of homeless community

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City has participated in a nationwide census of the homeless community called the 'Point in Time' count.

Every two years, cities all across the country conduct a 'Point in Time' census of the city’s homeless community.

However, Oklahoma City chooses to do this annually.

"When he lost his job, we lost the house, we lost everything. So, we've been kind of struggling to get back,” Star Doran told NewsChannel 4.

That’s why Doran and her husband have been moving around to and from various homeless camps.

"People think it's easy. They think you don't have no bills, no responsibilities. They don't realize the day to day existence. You know you don’t have four doors you can lock. You don't have walls,” Doran said.

Each year, when the Homeless Alliance conducts the census, it gives them a chance to keep track of the needs within the community.

"It's a nationwide effort. Every community, tribe, city, state that gets funding from HUD for care of the homeless has to do a 'Point in Time' count,” said Dan Straughan, the executive director for the Homeless Alliance.

Last year, a total of 1,511 "countable" people were counted, which is up 16 percent from 2015.

"There was a time in the 80's and early 90's when probably 95 percent of Oklahoma City's homeless population was single men. So, we sort of designed our system for that,” Straughan said.

Now, Straughan said the man to woman ratio is about two to one and they’ve seen an increase in the amount of homeless families in recent years, as well.

The data is just one more way they can help get people like Doran and her husband off the streets.

"If it ain't thieves, it's the weather. It's always something,” Doran said.

The numbers gathered during this year’s 'Point in Time' count will be released later on this year.