LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority has begun the 2024 homeless count in an effort to capture a point-in-time snapshot of the homelessness crisis impacting the region.
Officially called the Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count, it is expected to occur over a three-day period. Thousands of volunteers are expected to spread out across the 4,000 square miles of L.A. County to conduct the count. Traveling in small groups, volunteers will tally the number of unsheltered individuals, tents, vehicles, and make-shift shelters they see in their assigned Census tract.
Va Lecia Adams Kellum, CEO of LAHSA, is expected to host a news conference Tuesday in North Hollywood alongside Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, and other city and county officials. Federal partners Jason Pu, regional administrator for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Helene Schneider, senior regional advisor for the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, are expected to join as well.
Volunteers will receive count materials and a brief training. The annual homeless count technically began Monday night with counts in shelters and will continue on Tuesday night, starting in the San Gabriel and San Fernando valleys.
On Wednesday, volunteers will be sent out in West L.A., Southeast L.A. and the South Bay area. On the final night, Thursday, counters will travel around the Antelope Valley, Metro L.A. and South L.A.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires a biennial point-in-time count of people experiencing homelessness, according to LAHSA.
In 2016, the homeless agency started organizing the count annually to provide improved analysis regarding the trends of people experiencing homelessness. Government agencies, including LAHSA, use the data collected to develop strategies to end homelessness and determine where funding and resources will do the most good.
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According to the LAHSA, 2024 will mark the second year that volunteers will use Esri's Homeless Point in Time App to tally the number of people and makeshift dwellings they find during their count.
This year, LAHSA is piloting geofencing within the Point in Time App to alert volunteers when they have moved outside their assigned census tract's boundaries.
The annual Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count includes the Youth Count and the Housing Inventory Count. LAHSA will conduct the Youth Count from Jan. 22 through Jan. 31 and the Housing Inventory Count on Wednesday.
The 2023 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count revealed a 9% year-over- year increase in homelessness in the county, and a 10% rise in the city. The data showed 75,518 people experienced homelessness in the county, and 46,260 in the city of Los Angeles, an increase from the 69,144 in the county, and 41,980 the city from 2022.
City News Service contributed to this report.