LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority is scheduled to release the results of its 2022 Greater Los Angeles Point-in-Time Homeless Count Thursday.
The count, which took place from Feb. 22-24, is an annual, mandated means for LAHSA to obtain an accurate count of the number of unhoused people in the county.
LAHSA officials and the County Board of Supervisors are expected to discuss the results Thursday morning at the 28th Street YMCA in South Los Angeles.
This year’s count was the county’s first since 2020, as last year’s was canceled when LAHSA determined it was not safe to gather 8,000 volunteers amid stay-at-home orders and curfews due to COVID-19. The county received an exemption from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and was not required to conduct a 2021 count.
According to the 2020 count, the county’s homeless population increased by 12.7% over the previous year, while the city of Los Angeles’ homeless population jumped by 14.2%.
In January 2019, Los Angeles County had 58,936 people experiencing homelessness, but by January 2020, the number rose to 66,433. The city of Los Angeles counted 36,165 in 2019 and 41,290 in 2020.
LAHSA was originally scheduled to release the results earlier this summer, but postponed it in July because of a delay by HUD in validating the data.
Kristina Dixon, acting co-executive director of LAHSA, said in a statement at the time that the postponement was the responsible step.
“Despite any frustration that may result from this delay, ensuring that the people of Los Angeles County and their elected representatives have accurate, validated data regarding the 2022 Point-In-Time Count is of the utmost importance to LAHSA,” Dixon said.
The effort is essential to understanding how large the region’s homelessness crisis has become. It must be conducted by Continuum of Care providers to receive federal funding through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Due to the pandemic, volunteers conducted the count this year by driving around the area, instead of some volunteers fanning out on foot.
Other changes included moving deployment sites outdoors, moving volunteer training sessions online, encouraging volunteers to minimize cross- group interactions, requiring masks and encouraging volunteers to be vaccinated.
Volunteers also used an app to collect and submit information electronically for the first time, instead of using clipboards and writing down their information physically.
This year’s count was originally planned for Jan. 25-27, but the county’s surge in COVID cases, fueled by the Omicron variant, forced a one- month postponement.