Last night, as part of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s annual three-day “point in time” homeless count, volunteers from both the Greater Wilshire and Mid City West Neighborhood Councils fanned out across the various census tracts in their areas to tally the number of people they observed living on the streets or in tents, makeshift shelters, cars and/or RVs. The numbers gathered across the city will be used to plan and target services for homeless residents throughout LA County for the next year.
The GWNC-area count was organized from a hub set up at Hope Lutheran Church, on Melrose Ave., where volunteers checked in, were provided with snacks and some brief training on the new app developed for this year’s count, and then got their area assignments and moved out to the streets. When the volunteers finished counting in their assigned areas, they returned to make sure the data they entered was properly recorded, and received a certificate of appreciation for their work.
The GWNC had 38 volunteers signed up to help last night (50 were requested), but while a few of those cancelled before coming, several more arrived as the event began, providing enough people, according to volunteer Max Kirkham, to cover all 28 census tracts in the area. (In fact, Kirkham said, it was the first time in many years of GWNC coordination that there were enough volunteers to cover all the tracts in just one round, without sending any volunteers out twice.)
Meanwhile, the Mid City West ran its count from the parking lot at CBS Television Studios, with more than 150 volunteers covering a much larger geographic area.
Numbers from the street counts will be combined with data from other kinds of LAHSA surveys (including tallies from shelters, youth records, and more) to create an overall census of homeless residents in Los Angeles. Final numbers will be released later this year, though LAHSA representatives announced today that a town hall meeting will be held in February to present preliminary results.
Here are some images from last night’s GWNC event:
More volunteers awaiting their assignments.
Meanwhile, organizers from the Mid City West Neighborhood Council worked with their volunteers at CBS Television City:
See our Instagram post for more MCWNC photos.
About Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - with deep roots in both the Sycamore Square and West Adams Heights-Sugar Hill neighborhoods. She spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and is the co-owner/publisher of the Buzz.
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