Photo via Pixabay
Photo via Pixabay

The Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count will enter its third and final day Wednesday, with local and federal dignitaries joining in the effort to catalog the number of people living on the streets in the county.

The Los Angeles County effort began Tuesday night with thousands of volunteers sweeping through the San Gabriel Valley. The effort moved to West Los Angeles and the South Bay on Wednesday night. Volunteers today will move through the Antelope Valley this morning, then head to the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys tonight, along with metropolitan Los Angeles and South Los Angeles.

When the count moves into South Los Angeles, volunteers will be joined by a handful of dignitaries, including U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald, U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness Interim Secretary Matthew Doherty, Mayor Eric Garcetti, County Supervisor Hilda Solis and Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar.

The dignitaries and volunteers will assemble at the Los Angeles mission around 8 p.m. and go through an orientation and training session.

The count is following definitions of homelessness established by HUD, which include people living in places not meant for human habitation such as cars, parks, sidewalks and abandoned buildings.

A simultaneous count by service provider staff will enumerate homeless individuals and family members staying in emergency shelters and other homeless programs.

In conjunction with the three-night street and shelter count, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority is performing a detailed demographic survey to collect information critical in planning and assigning resources for homeless programs and services, it says.

The survey will capture such demographic data as age, gender, ethnicity, individual and family homelessness, duration of homelessness, and veteran status. Additional demographic data seeks to identify reasons why individuals became homeless, services utilized and benefits received.

The homeless count is conducted every two years. The 2013 count found more than 39,000 homeless men, women and children.

—City News Service

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