Homeless Count Moves Into Metro and Southern LA County

By City News Service

The three-day 2018 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count, which got underway Tuesday night with thousands of volunteers taking to the streets of San Fernando, Santa Clarita and San Gabriel valleys, will move to metropolitan Los Angeles and southern Los Angeles County tonight.

Volunteers will spread out across East Los Angeles, Boyle Heights. Highland Park, Lincoln Heights, downtown L.A. and cities in Southeast L.A. Many of the volunteers live in those neighborhoods and cities and are familiar with where the homeless congregate, according to county officials.

Volunteers will spend the night going from encampment to encampment, including in brush areas and riverbeds, under freeway passes and industrial areas where mobile homes and cars line the streets as part of the effort to get an accurate picture of the region’s homeless situation.

People living in homeless encampments like this one near El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument will be among those being counted by volunteers Thursday . (EGP Archive photo by Mike Alvarez)

For the last 12 years, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority has utilized volunteers over 18 years of age who spend between three and four hours recording the number of transients to help determine the amount of federal and county funds needed for homeless programs.

About 7,500 volunteers participated in last year’s count, which found that homelessness in Los Angeles County increased 23 percent to 57,794.

Three members of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors were among the volunteers on the first night – Kathryn Barger, Mark Ridley-Thomas and Hilda Solis.

“Our homeless population has a face and a name,” said Barger, who helped scan area in the San Gabriel Valley. “In addition to public safety and mental health, there is no greater emergency or mission than to protect those who are most vulnerable and in need.”

Ridley-Thomas who was among the volunteers in the San Fernando Valley, said he wanted to take part “because every night thousands of men, women, and families, with nowhere else to go, are sleeping on the streets of Los Angeles County. I count because each of us has a moral responsibility to help those in need.”

Solis joined volunteers in El Monte.

“By ensuring informed decisions and effective funding of programs and directed resources to the areas that need it most, the Homeless Count is the first step towards housing homeless individuals and families,” Solis said.

 

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January 25, 2018  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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