Thousands of volunteers fanned out across 4,000 square miles of Los Angeles County on January 24-26 to conduct the 2023 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count. This annual point-in-time census is essential to learning where people experiencing homelessness are located, trends among various populations, and other information that could help deliver services where needed most.
Traveling in groups of four, volunteers tallied the number of unsheltered individuals, tents, vehicles, and makeshift shelters they see in their assigned census tract. The Count was conducted in the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys on January 24th, East and West Los Angeles on January 25th, and Metro and South Los Angeles and the Antelope Valley on January 26th.
LAHSA relied on lessons learned from last year and best practices from previous years to improve deployment sites, training, and digital tools, including:
- Introducing a new tally app from Esri, a company with years of experience building tally apps for homeless counts across the country
- Returning to in-person volunteer training to ensure more volunteers are fully trained on how to use the app
- Providing mobile hotspots and onsite technical assistance to help close the digital divide and ensure the accuracy of the count
- A new quality assurance process that provided volunteers with paper maps and tally sheets in case technical issues arise with the app or mobile networks.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires a biennial point-in-time count of people experiencing homelessness. In 2016, LAHSA started holding the count annually to analyze the trends of people experiencing homelessness. Last year’s count indicated that the number of people experiencing homelessness across the county on any given night rose to an estimated 69,144, despite the rehousing system making 21,213 permanent housing placements in 2021.