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LA, Long Beach, and Santa Monica Will Count their Homeless at the End of This Month, Volunteers Needed

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Photo by Greg Lilly Photos via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr

Photo by Greg Lilly Photos via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
Homeless population counts will be taking place at the end of January in Los Angeles County and separately in Long Beach and Santa Monica, and each count is in need of volunteers to help out. The counts are mandated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and take place every two years.

In Los Angeles County,the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) organizes volunteers to go out into the community to take a count of all the homeless, in order to better plan and provide resources and services, with the goal of moving individuals and families into housing. The Los Angeles count takes place over three days--January 25th, 26th and 27th--and it is a massive undertaking, requiring the help of over 4,000 volunteers. Interested volunteers can sign up online; group participation is encouraged.

The 2011 Greater Los Angeles Count Schedule is as follows:
-Tuesday, January 25, 2011 (8PM) - San Gabriel Valley, East LA County
-Wednesday, January 26, 2011 (8PM) - West LA, South Bay
-Thursday, January 27, 2011 (8PM) - Metro LA, South LA, San Fernando Valley
-Thursday, January 27, 2011 (6AM) - Antelope Valley

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On January 27th, 2011, the City of Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services will conduct their fifth biannual homeless count. "The results of this count, which are reported within the City’s federal grant application that is submitted to HUD each year, determine existing resources, identify gaps, and highlight progress towards ending homelessness," explains an email release about the count. Long Beach will deploy about 300 volunteers; part one is the count of people residing in facilities, while part two, the street count component, finds teams of three volunteers, with a service provider, counting in one of 47 GIS mapped city segments. Volunteers are required to take part in a 1-hour training session prior to the count, and can register online.

In Santa Monica, the street-by-street count is taking place on January 26, 2011, and they are looking for 200 volunteers to help out. With the count information, Santa Monica is able to track and analyze changes in their local homeless population, make adjustments to the programs and services they offer, and raise public awareness about the issue, among other results. Their count takes place from 11 p.m. to 3. a.m., and volunteers will receive training ahead of the count, which will find them heading out in teams on foot and by car to conduct a visual count. Prospective volunteers are asked to complete a brief survey for consideration.

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