The Salvation Army shelter in Regina is one of the agencies in the city that helps homeless people. (The Salvation Army )

As part of a plan to deal with homelessness, Regina will be counting how many homeless people live here.

According to a report going to the Mayor's Housing Commission today, a coalition of community groups will receive from Ottawa $1.1 million a year for five years to fight homelessness.

One of the first things community groups need to do is find out how big a problem homelessness is. 

They're hiring a consultant to organize a count between now and the spring. 

Much of the work will be done by trained volunteers. In addition to counting, they'll also be interviewing homeless people to determine what their needs are.

Some of the $5.5 million that's going to a coalition of community groups and the YMCA will be used to build or renovate homes.

Counselling and life skills training are also included in the plan, with the aim of keeping once-homeless people from returning to the streets.