Photo via Pixabay
Photo via Pixabay

More than 7,000 volunteers will take to the streets Tuesday night in a three-night effort to count homeless people in the Greater Los Angeles area.

The count is organized by the city- and county-run Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. The tally will include most of Los Angeles County, with the cities of Long Beach, Glendale and Pasadena under different jurisdictions.

The count, which will continue on Wednesday and Thursday nights, is an effort to “put a face on who the homeless are and paint a picture about the state of homelessness,” Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority spokeswoman Naomi Goldman said.

This year, the authority is hoping to cover as much as 95 percent of the census tracts, according to Goldman.

The data gathered is used to help the authority request and allocate funding for homeless services, she said.

Past homeless counts have yielded demographics on the number of people who are chronically homeless, victims of domestic violence or sufferers of mental illness, and whether they are single, part of a family or an unaccompanied minor.

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority has been doing the count on a biannual basis since 2005. The last count done in 2015 found that there are more 44,000 homeless people in the Los Angeles area — a 12 percent increase from the 2013 figure.

This year’s count is being done earlier than usual thanks to funding from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and marks “the first year of what is hoped to be an annual count,” Goldman said.

More information about the count is available here.

— Wire reports 

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