L.A. homeless count delayed

LAHSA looks for volunteers to count the number of homeless in February.

Julianne Foster, Staff Writer

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development calls for the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority to complete an updated count every two years of the homeless population. The count determines the amount of federal funding LAHSA receives to support the homeless community. LAHSA rescheduled the census to the end of February

The count was pushed back to protect volunteers, staff and the homeless population from spreading and contracting COVID-19. Over 2020, the homeless population in L.A. County rose by 12.7%, while the city rose by 14.2%.

The new dates for the count are Feb. 22 for the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys, and Feb. 23 in West L.A., Southeast L.A. and the South Bay. Antelope Valley, Metro L.A. and South L.A. are scheduled for Feb. 24. Long Beach, Pasadena and Burbank are excluded from the LAHSA count as they apply for separate funding. 

HOW TO BE INVOLVED

To protect volunteers, LAHSA offers a mobile app for uploading records of count data. The number of homeless includes those living in their vehicles or tents, but not those who are “couch surfing” between other’s homes. 

 “Postponing the count until we can do so safely will help ensure the accuracy of the homeless count,” said L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis. “I look forward to joining LAHSA and hundreds of volunteers across the County in February.”

For location specific counts, such as La Mirada, those who want to join and help the count can sign up on the count site. La Mirada has a limit of 40 volunteers to complete the census. The count will take place on Feb. 23 from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m.

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