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LAHSA Cancels 2021 Homeless Count For Safety Reasons

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The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) typically does "point-in-time" counts to tally the number of unhoused people living in the city every year.

But the organization says that conducting the 2021 count just isn't safe, given the current surge in COVID-19 cases. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) agrees — the federal bureau has exempted Los Angeles from doing the count, which is required under the Los Angeles Continuum of Care.

According to a news release issued late today:

"After listening to community partners, receiving guidance from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, and taking into account curfews and stay-at-home orders across the region, LAHSA determined that there is no safe way to gather the 8,000 volunteers necessary to conduct the 2021 PIT Count and collect data as accurately as it has done in previous years."

LAHSA Executive Director Heidi Marston said they didn't come to this decision easily, but felt it was the right thing to do.
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The organization also hasn't been able to recruit the same number of volunteers as previous years, due to the pandemic.

LAHSA will still conduct a count of residents living in shelters, however. The organization is also working to make sure the cancelled count doesn't result in less Measure H funding.

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