Los Angeles county tracking homeless population

Nikki Erinakis

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority is conducting a count of all the homeless people in the county this week.

An estimated 29,000 people were recorded as homeless in the area, according to a 2009 factsheet provided by LAHSA.  It said the Metropolitan Los Angeles area has the highest density of homeless, with nearly one in 100 people without a home.  Alternatively, the San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valley recorded the lowest number of homeless people in the area.

According to LAHSA, the purpose of the homeless count is to determine the number of people who are in the Los Angeles “Continuum of Care,” a system that tracks the homeless and coordinates their care.

LAHSA works with thousands of volunteers every two years to count the number of homeless in Los Angeles.

Volunteers will be paired up in small groups in specific areas all over the Los Angeles area, and will be responsible for recording all the homeless who appear in their designated area.

The 2009 LAHSA report states there has been a decrease in the amount of people who are classified homeless in Los Angeles and an increase in services and housing since the homeless count started.

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development defines the homeless as people who live in places not created for human habitation, such as parks, cars and sidewalks.  They also count people who live in transitional housing or stay at emergency shelters.

For more information or to volunteer for the homeless count please visit www.theycountwillyou.org.