SAN DIEGO -- More homeless men and women than ever before showed up Wednesday for the sixth annual Project Homeless Connect in downtown San Diego, one of the organizers said.

Last year's total of 660 was surpassed by early afternoon. A total of 941 people received clothing, blankets and toiletries, said Maria Velasquez of the San Diego Housing Commission, which put on the event at Golden Hall.

About 500 of the attendees received haircuts, she said. Representatives from social service agencies also were on hand to address other needs, like health screenings, housing referrals and legal aid.

"We always said the need would be greater because of the economy,'' Velasquez said.

She said the involvement of partners like Family Health Centers of San Diego, St. Vincent de Paul Village and the Interfaith Shelter Network, and help from the news media, increased the visibility of the event and resulted in the larger numbers.

A lot more women came with their children this year from the San Diego Rescue Mission, she said.

Velasquez also said San Diegans were "unbelievably generous'' in collecting clothing for the homeless, with schools and churches helping out.

Councilman Todd Gloria said it was good that so much service was provided, but "it's a statement of how important it is to stay focused on this particular issue.''

Project Homeless Connect will also increase the understanding of San Diego's homeless program, organizers said. Attendees filled out a survey when they checked in, asking them about their income and where they are living, among other questions.