Volunteers are needed to help count Santa Clarita Valley’s homeless population beginning at 7 p.m. Jan. 23 as part of the Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count. The homeless count is organized annually by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA). Volunteers are needed to assist with a point-in-time count, an unduplicated count on a single night of people in the community who are experiencing homelessness that includes both sheltered and unsheltered populations.
Santa Clarita Valley’s count will begin promptly at 8 p.m. During the registration process, volunteers will be assigned to report to one of two sites for training: The Centre, 20880 Centre Pointe Parkway, or the Mental Health America of Los Angeles, Military Resource Center, 24885 Railroad Ave. To volunteer, register at TheyCountWillYou.org.
The results of the annual count are utilized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and by the County of Los Angeles to determine the amount of funds that will be allocated to local homeless programs. In addition, City officials and community partners will utilize this information to inform future programs and initiatives targeted at helping the most vulnerable members of our community.
Volunteers will be paired into teams and drive to designated areas within Santa Clarita Valley to conduct visual tallies of individuals who are homeless. The time commitment is roughly three to four hours. Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age.
Since 2005, LAHSA has been coordinating the Homeless Count across Los Angeles County. This count includes 85 cities and the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County, excluding the cities of Glendale, Long Beach and Pasadena. Last year’s count identified 57,794 homeless individuals and families, unsheltered and sheltered, living in Los Angeles County, including 331 individuals in Santa Clarita.
To volunteer, register at TheyCountWillYou.org. For more details, call the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority at (213) 683-3333 or Jennifer Del Toro, management analyst for the city of Santa Clarita, at (661) 286-4030.