Volunteers hitting LA's streets to count growing homeless population

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With homelessness on the increase, thousands of volunteers are fanning out across Los Angeles to count the number of people living on the streets. (KABC)

With homelessness on the increase, thousands of volunteers are fanning out across Los Angeles to count the number of people living on the streets.

The Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count is part of a survey performed every year since 2005 as part of a national census, with the data reported to the federal government for funding purposes.

Nearly 8,000 volunteers are going out over a three-day period to try to count the number of homeless in LA County's nearly 4,000 square miles.

"We've definitely seen the numbers increase each year," said Peter Lynn, executive director of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. "Last year countywide the count went up by about 23 percent. So we went up to about 57,000 or 58,000 people experiencing homelessness on a given night across the county. It's a pretty serious crisis across Los Angeles."

Volunteers have no contact with anyone they meet. They walk or drive through a neighborhood and L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said he sees hope.

"Last year, we didn't have Measure H passed, that's $355 million a year. That started Oct. 1, just in the last quarter. We can't put the jobs up until that's there, but we have them up there. One thousand jobs hiring at this moment. I would ask the public, like me, to remain impatient," Garcetti said.
Related Topics:
societyhomelesscensusLos Angeles County
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