Los Angeles Homeless Count Delayed Again Due to COVID-19

Los Angeles Homeless Count Delayed Again Due to COVID-19
Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority workers join the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department in assisting homeless individuals in Malibu, Calif., on Sept. 24, 2021. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)
Jamie Joseph

The results of the 2022 homeless count in Los Angeles County will not be published until September, delaying it from its previous June deadline, citing COVID-19 interruptions.

The lead agency that provides resources for the homeless in the county, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), conducts annual homeless counts in all of the county’s cities—excluding Glendale, Long Beach, and Pasadena, which have their own counts.

The University of Southern California and LAHSA work together every year to collect and analyze the data from the results. Once the data is examined, LAHSA sends the data to be validated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

After approval, the data is made available to the public, and HUD awards LAHSA with funds depending on the data. In the 2021–2022 fiscal year, HUD gave LAHSA $155 million in funding.

The count was suspended during the pandemic due to COVID-19 restrictions and safety precautions, skipping 2021. In 2020, the LAHSA reported 66,000 homeless countywide and over 41,000 in the city alone.

The count, which was conducted in February, was initially scheduled for January, but LAHSA received an extension from HUD to “ensure safety of its volunteers,” according to a statement. HUD informed LAHSA the validation of the data wouldn’t begin until next week, which wouldn’t provide LAHSA enough time to release the validated data on July 21 as originally planned.

LAHSA said in a statement the decision to postpone until the results have gone through proper review because “the accuracy of the data is of paramount importance.”

“This is the responsible thing to do; we have to give HUD the time they need to validate the data. Despite any frustration that may result from this delay, ensuring that the people of Los Angeles County and their elected representatives have accurate, validated data regarding the 2022 Point-In-Time Count is of the utmost importance to LAHSA,” Kristina Dixon, LAHSA’s Acting Co-Executive Director said in a news release July 6. “We will continue to work with our partners at HUD and look forward to releasing the Homeless Count results as soon as possible.”

Jamie is a California-based reporter covering issues in Los Angeles and state policies for The Epoch Times. In her free time, she enjoys reading nonfiction and thrillers, going to the beach, studying Christian theology, and writing poetry. You can always find Jamie writing breaking news with a cup of tea in hand.