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Volunteers descend on Skid Row tonight for 'Homeless Count'

By Hayley Fox
Published: Tuesday, January 29, 2013, at 04:09PM

Volunteers will arrive on Skid Row tonight to help survey homeless people as party of a county-wide homeless count.

Beginning Tuesday night, volunteers will head down to Skid Row to help survey and count the number of sheltered and unsheltered homeless people living in the area. These efforts are part of a countywide effort dubbed the Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count, which occurs every two years in L.A.

The event is organized by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), who says that the count is part of their mission "to support, create and sustain solutions to homelessness in the City and County of Los Angeles by providing leadership, advocacy, planning and management of program funding.”

In Downtown, the Los Angeles Mission will be serving as Skid Row's hub for the event. Volunteers are meeting there for orientation and training before heading out into the surrounding streets on Tuesday and Wednesday nights to survey the homeless and their living conditions. Thursday is the official numbers count administered by LAHSA.

The LAHSA will be performing this count across the county, in areas divided into the Antelope Valley, Santa Clarita/San Fernando Valley, San Gabriel Valley, South L.A., West L.A., Metro L.A., East L.A. and the South Bay.

According to the LAHSA's website: "Data from the count is critical to addressing the complexities of homelessness and planning how to best invest public resources, raise public awareness, identify the needs of homeless people and improve service delivery opportunities to prevent and eliminate homelessness in our region."

In 2011, the last time the count was conducted, surveys found there was an estimated 51,340 homeless people in Los Angeles County on any given night.

Blogdowntown will be on Skid Row Wednesday night, surveying the homeless with a group of volunteers. Check back on our website this week for more details and updates on the count.

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