Thank you enough for being a LAHSA partner in the 2022 Homeless Count for the community of North Hills West. And of course, thank you to John Brauer at New Horizons as well.

To register to help,  go to this link:

https://www.theycountwillyou.org

Just as an FYI, the North Hills East Count might occur at the North Valley Caring Services and possibly led by the North Hills East NC (pending board action in December).

Here is a short video of the 2022 Homeless Count (which will be done through a mobile app and no more clipboards) .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTOVjjFwssk

The Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count is now during February, and covers all LA County except the cities of Glendale, Pasadena, and Long Beach, which conduct their own counts.

This year, the Deployment Site Coordinator (DSC) trainings will be provided virtually via Zoom. The DSC trainings will cover important aspects of running a Deployment Site, including how to operate a site while keeping in mind COVID-19 guidelines, strategic tools for assigning Census Tracts, overview of the new Homeless Count mobile app “Akido Connect”, and an overview of the new Homeless Count Dashboard which will help DSCs assess the level of completion of their area, among other things.
This live virtual training is for Deployment Site Coordinators and Assistants. We have 5 trainings throughout the month of January. Please sign up for the most convenient date for you.

For more general information go here:

https://www.theycountwillyou.org

The 2022 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count will occur on these dates:

February 22, 2022: San Fernando & San Gabriel Valleys (SPA 2 & 3)

February 23, 2022: West Los Angeles, Southeast Los Angeles, & the South Bay (SPA 5, 7, & 8)

February 28, 2022: Antelope Valley, Metro Los Angeles, & South Los Angeles (SPA 1, 4, & 6)

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires each Continuum of Care (CoC) to hold a biennial Point-In-Time (PIT) Count during odd-number years.  Beginning in 2016, the Los Angeles CoC started holding the Homeless Count annually to analyze the trends of people experiencing homelessness. The annual Homeless Count is an essential component in getting vital information that helps us provide an accurate picture of the state of homelessness in Los Angeles and deliver services where they are most needed. It also increases general homelessness awareness with the public and increases engagement with leaders, residents, and stakeholders.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) mandates that the Point-In-Time (PIT) Homeless Count be conducted the last ten days in January across the entire country.  People with extremely limited income who cycle in and out of homelessness typically are not sheltered during this time of the year; they have depleted their funds on motels and other living expenses.

The results will be released to the public in Summer 2022, at which time the presentation and data summaries will be published on www.lahsa.org/homeless-count/

The Street Count is conducted over three days for logistical purposes. The Los Angeles CoC is a large geographic area that consists of most of Los Angeles County.

HUD defines “homelessness” as being literally homeless.  This does include people sleeping in vehicles or tents.

The methodology LAHSA uses counts our unsheltered neighbors when they are bedding down for the night. People experiencing homelessness are more mobile during the daytime and might be counted twice.  This is especially true of people living in vehicles. Any exceptions are due to visibility and/or safety concerns.

We take several steps to make sure our street count is as thorough as possible. We assign hard-to-reach areas, such as river embankments and heavily wooded areas, to special teams composed of professional street outreach workers. Each volunteer across the county watches the same training video to ensure uniformity. We rely heavily on local community members (including deployment site coordinators) who know their neighborhood best and can check whether any key areas were missed. Finally, we review all submitted data before the end of January for quality assurance.

LAHSA conducts a separate demographic survey to obtain detailed demographic information. USC assists with the calculations to determine demographics such as age, gender, race, veteran status, disabling condition, fleeing domestic violence, and others.

The preferred number of volunteers is three. If you are an individual volunteer, Homeless Count leads at the deployment sie will help you join other individuals into a team.

There are various opportunities to take COVID-19 precautions.  These include securing outdoor locations for deployment sites where possible; requiring everyone to wear masks; directing participants to maintain social distancing rules; encouraging people to register in teams; and making Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) accessible to all participants. Also, LAHSA is also encouraging volunteers to be vaccinated and/or show negative tests results. If someone is filling sick on the day of the count, LAHSA asks that the person stays home and does not come out to count. Some local counts will be held at venues that require proof of vaccination. Please visit the individual event page regularly for updates on safety gidelines.

This year, Homeless Count volunteers will be able to download Akido Connect “LA Homeless Count App” from their Apple or Android App Stores. Akido Connect, the App developed by Akido Labs, will replace the pen and paper tally system, and volunteers will mark their tallies directly in the mobile app. Deployment Site Coordinators will have access to a dashboard where they can view the tallies for specific Census Tracts. LAHSA will be able to securely access the data in real-time for data analysis.

Akido Labs is a public health company specializing in data and technology-based out of Los Angeles. Akido partners with healthcare and government organizations to improve health outcomes for vulnerable communities. Previous work includes powering LAHSA’s and DHS’s COVID-19 response program for the homeless population. For information about Akido and to learn more about our work, please visit www.akidolabs.com.

We encourage everyone to come in teams with at least one team member possessing a cell phone to ensure the team can access the LA Homeless Count mobile app. Volunteers are to ensure their cell phones are fully charged and ready for Homeless Count usage.

Because LAHSA is committed to only using the new mobile app, the older tradition of using a paper tally sheet will no longer be used. We welcome volunteers that do not have a smartphone and will match them with a team that does have one.

The results of the 2022 Homeless Count will be released during Summer 2022.

The app will be available in Spanish.

LAHSA, in collaboration with Akido, will be developing training videos and sessions for Deployment Site Coordinators and their teams ahead of the Count to ensure that the staff for each site feels comfortable with the application. This will include testing the app. LAHSA’s goal is to empower Site Coordinators so they can help inform volunteers during the Count. Akido’s customer support team will also be available to help Site Coordinators with any additional questions that arise after the training sessions.

Yes, LAHSA, in collaboration with Akido, will be producing a training video for volunteers to watch before they participate in the Count. The videos will be sent out to volunteers after they register, or if they sign up on the night of the Count, they will be asked to watch the training before they go out to their census tracts.

Akido Connect is designed to allow volunteers to complete their workflows both online and offline. In cases of poor cell phone reception, completed tallies will be saved on the volunteer’s device until they are back online. Once their connection is reestablished, their completed counts will be automatically uploaded. Akido Connect is built off the same reliable and proven technology that LA County, LAHSA, and DHS outreach teams currently use in the field daily to conduct COVID-19 testing and vaccinations for the homeless population, often in areas with poor cell phone coverage.

Akido’s Customer Support team will be online and available throughout the Count to assist with any issues that may arise with Akido Connect. A phone number and a Help Desk website will be provided ahead of the Count to volunteers and Site Coordinators to use to reach the Customer Support team.

We count regardless of the weather.

The housing and economic crisis pushes people into homelessness faster than the system can house them. LA County has a tremendous shortage of affordable housing units, and rents are rising faster than wages for low-income renters – median household income decreased 3% between 2000 and 2017. A renter would need to earn $47.52 per hour to afford the median monthly asking rent. The housing and economic crisis has more than 2 million county residents paying more than 50% of their monthly income on housing.

During 2019 in the LA CoC, 37% of unsheltered people were found living in vehicles (16,528), up 5% from the previous year.  This is attributed to the rise of rents across the County.  People who live in vehicles typically have a steady flow of income and even savings set aside but cannot find affordable housing.

LAHSA is the lead agency in the Los Angeles Continuum of Care, the regional planning body that coordinates housing and services for homeless families and individuals in Los Angeles County. We are also one of many agencies that are working collaboratively to end the homeless crisis.  Other partners include the County departments, local municipalities, Veteran Affairs, as well as over 100 homeless service providers.  LAHSA administers funds from the federal, state, county, and City to non-profit organizations that provide direct services to those experiencing homelessness.  We are also responsible for setting the operational policies and procedures used with this funding to ensure a consistent and fair approach is maintained throughout the entire county. Lastly, LAHSA has a large department providing outreach services to people living on the streets as well.

We encourage volunteers to connect with local service providers where they can volunteer throughout the year. LAHSA’s Community Relations Coordinators can direct volunteers to local coalitions and service providers. Please visit the following page for more information: www.lahsa.org/get-involved