A team of volunteers that includes staff from the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station will walk and drive around WeHo tonight to conduct the annual homeless count.
The “Homeless Point in Time Count” is an effort to document the number of people without a permanent, habitable place to call home at a particular point in time. The data collected is used to assess strategies and funding decisions by city and county policymakers trying to meet the needs of homeless individuals and families.
Last year’s count showed that West Hollywood’s homeless population had increased by 30% from the year before. A report by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority showed a count of 105 homeless people in WeHo during the annual street survey conducted in January 2017. That compares with 81 counted in 2016 and 54 in 2015.
The count showed an increase of 16% of homeless people in all of Los Angeles County, with a total of 49,698. However, it does include Long Beach, Glendale and Pasadena, which conduct their own counts. The annual count is conducted by volunteers for the L.A. Continuum of Care, a local planning body that coordinates housing and services funding for the homeless.
Last year, more than 7,500 volunteers participated in the count across Los Angeles County. The volunteers generally work in two-person teams, driving or walking through communities and contacting homeless individuals they encounter. In most areas, the count begins around 8 p.m.