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Monday, January 16, 2017

Altadena Will Count Its Homeless on January 24

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Altadena will be taking part in the annual homeless count that Los Angeles County conducts every January, and is calling on volunteers to help in the counting. This year’s Homeless Count is on Tuesday, January 24.

Judy Matthews, Altadena Town Council Member, said volunteers will be deployed from Loma Alta Park, located at 3330 Lincoln Avenue in Altadena. Volunteers are advised to sign up for the count at www.theycountwillyou.org.

Last year, Los Angeles County recorded the largest homeless census in the nation with over 7,500 volunteers, over 5,000 demographic surveys completed, and 100 percent coverage of the Los Angeles Continuum of Care census tracts.

The annual homeless count usually takes three days and aims to gather valuable data that would support programs and funding that will address – and hopefully bring an end to – the critical issue of homelessness in the region. With the data, the county hopes to bring leaders, residents and stakeholders together, and ensure the delivery of vital community resources for the solution of the problem.

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) has been spearheading the annual homeless count over the years. A joint powers authority of the City and County of Los Angeles, LAHSA was created in 1993 to address the problems of homelessness in Los Angeles. It is the lead agency in the HUD-funded Los Angeles Continuum of Care, which includes 85 cities and the unincorporated areas of the county.

The agency coordinates and manages more than $132 million annually in federal, state, county and city funds for programs providing shelter, housing and services to homeless persons.

Volunteers can be deployed in any of the four components constituting the count: a Street Count, which is visual-only tally of everyone unsheltered experiencing homelessness; a Shelter/Institutional Count, which counts everyone experiencing homelessness found in shelters, transitional housing, hospitals, and correctional facilities; Demographic Surveys, where volunteers collect demographic information of those experiencing homelessness; and a Youth Count, which provides a snapshot of how many unaccompanied youth under age 18 (without a parent or guardian), and transition age young adults (age 18-24) are experiencing homelessness on any given night.

Since 2005, LAHSA has coordinated six biennial Los Angeles County Homeless Counts. Beginning 2016, the Point-In-Time Count occurs annually.

For more information, visit www.lahsa.org.

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