Business & Economy

Los Angeles County homeless count may become an annual event

File: Volunteers count homeless people on a dark street on Skid Row during the 2015 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count conducted by the L.A. Homeless Services Authority on Jan. 29, 2015.
File: Volunteers count homeless people on a dark street on Skid Row during the 2015 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count conducted by the L.A. Homeless Services Authority on Jan. 29, 2015.
David McNew/Getty Images

More than 6,000 volunteers will embark on a count to survey the current state of homelessness in Los Angeles County from Jan. 26 to 28 — and you could be one of them.

The L.A. Homeless Services Authority has conducted a homeless count every other year since 2005 to collect data that helps when it comes to advocating and allocating funds to help end homelessness.

This year, another count was made possible thanks to additional resources from the veterans' fund and is the first in what the organization hopes will become an annual count, according to Naomi Goldman, spokeswoman for LAHSA.

“It’s safe. It’s a meaningful, really hands-on way to be a part of your community in the effort to end homelessness,” Goldman told KPCC.

By actually counting and surveying the state of homelessness from the street, LAHSA is able to paint a picture of what homelessness looks like in L.A. County. The count includes the number of homeless men, women and children, as well as the region they are living in and how they are living — whether it's in a tent, car, shelter or on the street.

https://twitter.com/LAHomelessCount/status/688435237429248000

Homelessness is on the rise in L.A. and Goldman said that an estimated 40,000 people in the county are currently displaced.

Volunteering takes no prior experience or training. Last year, Goldman said the count garnered about 5,500 volunteers, and they are hoping for 6,000 this year. They have three-fourths of that number already signed up.

“It really only takes a few hours of your time, but it makes a very meaningful difference in the effort we’re all a part of to end homelessness in Los Angeles,” Goldman said.

Each region of L.A. County conducts its count on only one of the three days. The count excludes Pasadena, Long Beach and Glendale — all cities which conduct counts of their own.

Here is a list of the count's dates and times by region: 

8 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 26:

8 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 27:

5 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 28:

6 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 28:

8 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 28:

To sign up to volunteer for the count, register for a site in your region at TheyCountWillYou.org