The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority opened up registration for next year’s homeless count Wednesday, seeking volunteers to cover 8,000 shifts.

The count, which will take place on the evenings of Jan. 24-26, began in 2016 to provide Los Angeles County with analysis and trends of people experiencing homelessness. The count will encompass the 4,000 square miles in the county.

Volunteers will work in groups of four to count the number of unsheltered individuals, tents, vehicles and makeshift shelters in their census tract.

The 2022 homeless count by LAHSA revealed 41,980 unhoused people in the city of Los Angeles, up 1.7% from 2020, and a 4.1% increase in the number of unhoused people in Los Angeles County.

“The annual Homeless Count helps us better understand the needs of our neighbors experiencing homelessness so that we can align our resources to best address those needs,” said Stephen David Simon, interim executive director of LAHSA. “We need thousands of people across the county to join us in January to ensure as accurate a count as possible.”

The count begins Jan. 24 in the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys, followed by East and West Los Angeles on Jan. 25 and the Antelope Valley, Metro and South Los Angeles on Jan. 26.

After some criticism from council members following this year’s count, LAHSA officials said it had made several improvements to next year’s count to “ensure that our region will have the most accurate estimate possible of people experiencing homelessness.”

The changes include using an app to record data. The application can be found at theycountwillyou.org.

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