The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) recently opened registration for the 2023 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count. In 2023, the Homeless Count will occur during the evenings on Jan. 24, 25, and 26. Volunteers can register for the Homeless Count at TheyCountWillYou.org.
“The annual Homeless Count helps us better understand the needs of our neighbors experiencing homelessness so that we can align our resources to best address those needs,” said Stephen David Simon, interim executive director of LAHSA. “We need thousands of people across the county to join us in January to ensure as accurate a count as possible.”
In 2023, thousands of volunteers will spread out across the 4,000 square miles of Los Angeles County in late January to conduct the unsheltered count. Traveling in groups of four, volunteers will tally the number of unsheltered individuals, tents, vehicles, and make-shift shelters they see in their assigned census tract.
The unsheltered count will begin on Tuesday, Jan. 24, in the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys. Volunteers in East and West Los Angeles will count on Wednesday, Jan. 25. Finally, the count will wrap up Thursday, January 26, in the Antelope Valley, Metro, and South Los Angeles.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires a biennial point-in-time count of people experiencing homelessness. In 2016, LAHSA started hosting the Homeless Count annually to provide improved analysis regarding the trends of people experiencing homelessness.
Government agencies, including LAHSA, use the data collected during the Homeless Count to develop strategies to end homelessness and determine where funding and resources will do the most good.
LAHSA depends on an enormous volunteer base to conduct the homeless Count. This year, the agency seeks volunteers to cover 8,000 shifts.
LAHSA has made several improvements to the 2023 Unsheltered Count to ensure that the region will have the most accurate estimate possible of people experiencing homelessness. For instance, in 2023, volunteers will use Esri’s Homeless Point in Time App. If a volunteer team encounters a problem with the app causing them to record data on paper, LAHSA staff will be at the deployment site to enter the data into an electronic tally sheet and take a picture of the tally sheet for further verification.
Any census tract without recorded data by noon of the following day will be considered uncounted, and LAHSA will deploy a make-up team to count the census tract.
The annual Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count includes the youth count and the housing inventory count. LAHSA will conduct the youth count from Jan. 21 through 31 and the housing inventory count on Jan. 25.