How LAHSA Improved the 2023 Homeless Count
It’s that time of year again. In about a week thousands of volunteers will hit the streets as part of The Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count of 2023. This annual event gathers people from across LA County to count our unsheltered neighbors at a point in time. The Homeless Count is required by The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and LAHSA has conducted the Count on an annual basis since 2016.
LAHSA is constantly looking at ways it can improve the Homeless Count’s accuracy and have introduced several changes to meet that goal:
1. Hiring a demographer and two data scientists to optimize data analysis process of the Homeless Count
2. Simplifying volunteer training with zoom and in-person options
3. Replacing last year’s Homeless Count App with a more user-friendly version with a real-time dashboard
4. Developing new quality assurance processes that
a. Places LAHSA staff at each deployment site
b. Provides backup paper maps and tally sheets for technical issues
5. Deploying “make-up count teams” to census tracts with missing data in attempt to count as many people experiencing unsheltered homelessness as possible
While LAHSA is making improvements to the Homeless Count, the one thing the agency needs is volunteers. The Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count covers 4000 square miles. It takes an army of volunteers to ensure the Homeless Count is a success. The efforts made by volunteers help fortify the voice of underrepresented communities that have fallen into homelessness.
The Count occurs at night when most unhoused Angelenos have settled down for the night. LAHSA provides volunteers with all the equipment needed, such as vests and flashlights. If you decide to join us, be sure to wear warm clothes.
The results of the Count give a better understanding of the scope and nature of homelessness. These understandings will guide policy makers and service administrators to make the best policy decisions to address homelessness.
Don’t miss out, and put it on your calendar, right now! Then sign up at theycountwillyou.org. The Homeless Count will begin on Tuesday, January 24, in the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys. East and West Los Angeles volunteers will count on Wednesday, January 25. Finally, the Count will wrap up Thursday, January 26, in South Los Angeles, Metro Los Angeles, and the Antelope Valley. Signing up to count in your area will make a difference to our unhoused neighbors across the county. We hope to see you there!