The 2023 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count will be held Jan. 24, 25, and 26, and covers all LA County except the cities of Glendale, Pasadena, and Long Beach, which conduct their own counts.
Readers are invited to join the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) and volunteer for the count to help make progress in ending homelessness by counting those without shelter and in need of support.
The count allows LA County to get the full picture of the homelessness crisis in local communities. By gathering this data, the county is better able to direct vital services where they are needed most to support those experiencing homelessness.
For the 2023 Homeless Count, LAHSA is taking lessons learned from last year and the best practices from previous years to improve deployment sites, training, and digital tools by:
• Simplifying volunteer training and offering it both in-person and online
• Replacing the counting app used in 2022 with one built by a new vendor with years of experience developing apps for Homeless Counts across the country, allowing volunteers to see their data submissions in the app and deployment site leads to access a real-time dashboard
• Developing a new quality assurance process that includes LAHSA staff at each deployment site and the use of backup paper maps and tally sheets if volunteers have internet connectivity issues while counting
• Considering any census tracts with missing data to be uncounted and deploying make-up count teams to ensure the data in every census tract with people experiencing unsheltered homelessness is captured
• Hiring a demographer and two data scientists to help optimize the data analysis process of the Homeless Count
“The Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count is an important resource for understanding the scope and nature of homelessness in Los Angeles County. 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.”
The annual Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count includes the Unsheltered Count, Youth Count, and Housing Inventory Count (a census of people living in interim and permanent supportive housing). LAHSA will conduct the Youth Count from Jan. 21 through 31 and the Housing Inventory Count on Jan. 25.
The Unsheltered Count will begin on Jan. 24, in the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys. East and West Los Angeles volunteers will count on Jan. 25. Finally, the Count will wrap up Jan. 26, in South Los Angeles, Metro Los Angeles, and the Antelope Valley. This year, LAHSA is looking for volunteers to fill over 8,000 shifts during the above period. The Homeless Count represents an excellent opportunity for people throughout Greater Los Angeles to participate in the process of helping their unhoused neighbors.
To volunteer for a few hours to make a difference, register or receive more information, visit www.theycountwillyou.org; enter the Zip Code or city information for a spot to volunteer in; select the location from the list that populates or, if that site is full, another one close by; scroll down and click “choose this site” and complete the form on the next page to finish the RSVP.