The major census operation that falls outside the realm of the Commerce Department and Census Bureau is the homeless census. The annual homeless headcount is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for any county that receives federal funding, though this number is not a factor used to determine how much federal money counties receive. Since 2002 HUD has published its findings in an annual report (PDF) that is a collaborative effort between the federal government, universities, municipal governments, and outside consulting firms. It will certainly be a challenge for the Census Bureau to count America’s homeless during 2010 Census operations, and it will have to be determined whether numbers from the homeless census are used to calculate the actual homeless population. The homeless census has many critics who are skeptical that the rushed effort (this year’s whole tally took place on a single night, January 27) is an accurate portrayal of homelessness in America.