More than two hundred volunteers were out around Edmonton starting Wednesday night, participating in a 24 hour event known as the homeless count.

Volunteers started work at about 7 p.m. Wednesday on the Point in Time Count, meant to provide a snapshot of Edmonton’s homeless population, and insight into how that has changed over time.

“[The count] also gives an idea for instance, two years ago we found an increasing number of youth on the street and families experiencing homelessness, and we made a concerted effort to addres that through new programs,” Susan McGee with Homeward Trust said.

The last count in 2014 identified more than 2,300 homeless in Edmonton – down 30 percent from Edmonton’s highest count in 2008.

“We’ve made major investments in the Housing First program, it’s working, we’ve housed more than 5,500 people in our community since 2009,” McGee said.

Early results of this count are expected to be released by the end of 2016, with a full report expected in the New Year.

In the meantime, a national report was released Thursday that said 35,000 Canadians are homeless on a given night – and that $43 billion should be invested over a decade to end homelessness through programs and affordable housing.

With files from Nicole Weisberg