Four hundred volunteers hit the streets and open fields in Sacramento County last night looking for homeless people.
The volunteers wore fluorescent vests and carried flashlights and questionnaires.
For many of the volunteers, like Norma Jacobs, this was the first time they had gone out on a homeless count.
She says she was surprised by who she found.
"Here I thought more people would have more problems with alcohol or drugs," says Jacobs. "Most people are clean and sober. Generally, maybe there is type of disability that prevents them from getting steady employment."
The Union Gospel Mission is a block away from the Sacramento Police substation on Richards Boulevard.
After volunteers counted the people staying at the mission, other volunteers counted the overflow population. Some agreed to be interviewed by the volunteers. A lucky few received a $5 gift card to McDonalds.
Willie McGee is homeless for the second time in a decade. He says he and local agencies are better prepared this time to deal with homelessness.
"When it first started in 2010, 2007, it was really really off the wall, if you could put it like that," says McGee. "There was no organization. It was kind of like every man for himself and God for us all."
Jeff Harris is the new Sacramento City Councilman for District 3. He says helping the homeless must be a priority.
"For me, it's the ability to self-advocate. To say, okay, how do I improve my lot, how do I get out of this rut, how do I make my life better," says Harris. "That motivation -- once it's gone -- that's a really tough thing to resurrect."
Volunteers will be at shelters this morning to count homeless families.
Two years ago, the homeless count found about 2,500 people homeless in the county on any given night.