LOS ANGELES—Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) officials and volunteers will conduct the annual 2022 homeless count between Jan. 25 and 27, the first since 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to the cancellation of this year’s count.
The effort, known as the point-in-time count or 2020 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count, is essential for understanding how large the region’s homelessness crisis has become. The count must be conducted by Continuum of Care providers to receive federal funding through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
According to the 2020 count, the county’s homeless population increased by 12.7 percent over the previous year, while the city of Los Angeles’ homeless population jumped by 14.2 percent.
In January 2019, Los Angeles County had nearly 59,000 homeless people, but by January 2020, the number had risen to more than 66,000. Los Angeles officials counted about 36,000 in 2019 and more than 41,000 in 2020.
The county received an exemption from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and was not required to conduct a 2021 count due to the pandemic. The decision was made after LAHSA determined it wasn’t safe to gather 8,000 volunteers, given guidance from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, and taking into account stay-at-home orders and curfews due to COVID-19.
LAHSA is seeking volunteers for the 2021 count, through their website at TheyCountWillYou.org