LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- More than 300 volunteers searched the city Thursday morning to count Louisville's homeless population.

“We broke Louisville down into territories, and we’ve taken different neighborhoods just trying to find the homeless so we can report to the federal authorities,” said Henry Owens, a count volunteer.

The Coalition for the Homeless says preliminary numbers show 156 people on the streets, which is up from 112 last year. Count organizers say warmer weather and more volunteers looking for the homeless could have led to a higher number.

The coalition says the count is crucial in qualifying for grants and other funding.

“We know that there are a lot more people who are staying from place to place that are not included in this number at all,” said Mary Frances Schafer with the Coalition for the Homeless.

The numbers for the shelter count have not been released, but last year the total was around 1,100. The coalition says a drop in transitional housing has created a long list for families. Forty families were waiting to get into a shelter Thursday.

Many volunteers say it is heartbreaking to see so many homeless living on the street every year.

“We never really get the whole picture, because it’s a fluid thing," said David Musella, a volunteer. "It changes one day to the next."

The Coalition for the Homeless says about half of the people they serve work full-time but cannot afford housing.

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