The 2023 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count, a point-in-time snapshot of homelessness in Los Angeles County that helps determine the distribution of funding and services to the unhoused, begins Tuesday, Jan. 24, and will continue through Thursday, Jan. 25.
The count will be conducted with the help of thousands of volunteers, with the results expected by late spring or early summer. It will begin in the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys on Tuesday, followed by counts in West and East Los Angeles on Wednesday. Thursday’s count will take place in South Los Angeles, the Metro area and the Antelope Valley.
Wendy Greuel, chair of LAHSA’s commission, said volunteers are still needed to help count. People can register at theycountwillyou.org.
“We want to make sure that we have the most accurate count,” Greuel said. “Oftentimes, our funding is determined upon the count, where we know exactly what kind of services are needed, in what geographic area. So it’s a really important number. We never really know what is going to happen.”
LAHSA announced changes for this year’s count that include using a new app, and ensuring that those counting have access to paper maps and tally sheets for counts if there are issues with connecting to the internet. Agency officials said earlier this month that they also plan to hire a demographer and two data scientists for data analysis.
“LAHSA continues to refine and improve our approach in the interest of a more accurate count with greater stakeholder involvement,” said Stephen David Simon, interim executive director of LAHSA. “The count is an opportunity to reflect on the life-saving impact of our collective investments, the challenges we continue to tackle together, and the humanity of the homelessness crisis.”
Last year’s count may have been affected by the surge of the coronavirus variant Omicron, especially the youth count with many youth centers closed, LAHSA officials said. Officials collected around 1,780 fewer surveys from youth between the ages of 18 and 24, and nearly 2,000 fewer surveys from families compared to 2020. LAHSA did not conduct a count in 2021 due to the pandemic. Officials also warned that the system was in a unique situation last year, with more one-time federal pandemic assistance programs ending. That could lead to more housing insecurity and fewer resources for rehousing systems to respond — sparking larger tallies in the future, according to Kristina Dixon, then the acting co-executive director of LAHSA.
“Because homelessness is a lagging indicator, it is possible that future homeless counts could show significant increases,” Dixon said.
This year’s count will begin a day after Va Lecia Adams Kellum, president and CEO of St. Joseph’s Center, was appointed by the LAHSA commission as the authority’s next CEO. LAHSA officials said this year, they will deploy make-up count teams to make sure every census tract is counted, and consider tracts that do not have data to be uncounted. Volunteer training will also be offered both in-person and online. The count began in 2016 to provide Los Angeles County with analysis and trends of people experiencing homelessness. The count will encompass the 4,000 square miles in the county. Volunteers will work in groups of four to count the number of unsheltered individuals, tents, vehicles and makeshift shelters in their census tract.
“With the efforts being made by the city and the county, we hope we will continue to see a decline in those numbers going forward,” Greuel said.
3 comments for "LA County homeless count begins Tuesday"
Either way, there’s way too many of them here in the Antelope Valley! They hide out by the freeway because it’s state property under the jurisdiction of CalTrans and CHP. And they essentially trash the overpasses with litter and garbage and leave waste and garbage alongside the lanes at all of the exits. It’s gross and a lot of people are sick of it.
Most of these people are able-bodied and working age and could be doing something, least of which is actually picking up after themselves.
Funny that when I go to Santa Clarita, I never see any. You mean to tell me a city (SCV) with a population area of 250,000 doesn’t have any homeless???
Wrecks says 67 a day are being sent to Lancaster from LA on Metrolink. That’s over 24,000 a year. I think he’s fibbing.
Formerly Homeless says
A couple years ago, Rex and Marv said 67 people a day were being sent to Lancaster from LA on the Metrolink. If they were telling the truth, there will be at least 48,910 homeless people living in Lancaster. The key being, if they were telling the truth. Hey, there’s a first time for everything, right?