Volunteers are need for Santa Clarita homeless count
OW Staff Writer | 1/11/2019, midnight
Volunteers are needed to help count Santa Clarita Valley’s homeless population on Tuesday, Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. as part of the Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count. The homeless count is organized annually by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA). Volunteers are needed to assist with a point-in-time count, which is an unduplicated count on a single night of people in the community who are experiencing homelessness. The count includes both sheltered and unsheltered populations. Santa Clarita Valley’s count will take place on Jan. 22 with training taking place at 7 p.m. and the count beginning promptly at 8 p.m.
“It is extremely important that our City received the resources necessary to help our homeless population. Therefore, I encourage anyone who can spare some time to volunteer for this important count,” said Santa Clarita Mayor Marsha McLean. “The results of our local homeless count help paint a picture of what the homeless population looks like in Santa Clarita. This allows local governments and organizations to better understand what resources and services are most needed for individuals in our community who are experiencing homelessness.”
As part of the registration process, volunteers will be assigned to report to one of two sites for training: The Centre, 20880 Centre Pointe Parkway, or American Legion Post 507, 24522 Spruce Street.
The results of the annual count are utilized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the County of Los Angeles to determine the amount of funds that will be allocated to local homeless programs. In addition, City officials and community partners will utilize this information to inform future programs and initiatives targeted at helping the most vulnerable members of our community.
Volunteers will be paired into teams and drive to designated areas within the Santa Clarita Valley to conduct visual tallies of individuals who are homeless. The time commitment is roughly three to four hours. Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age.
Since 2005, LAHSA has been coordinating the Homeless Count across Los Angeles County. This count includes 85 cities and unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. Last year’s count identified 45,043 homeless individuals and families, unsheltered and sheltered, living in Los Angeles County, which represents a four-percent decline from the year before. The 2018 Homeless Count included 161 individuals in Santa Clarita.
Register to volunteer at TheyCountWillYou.org. For questions, call the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority at (213) 683-3333 or Rebecca Widdison, management analyst for the city of Santa Clarita, at (661) 284-1407.