Greater Los Angeles homeless count begins Tuesday night

The three-day 2018 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count begins Tuesday night with thousands of volunteers set to scan the San Fernando, Santa Clarita and San Gabriel valleys in an effort to get an accurate picture of the homeless situation.

For the last 12 years, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority has utilized volunteers over 18 years of age who spend between three and four hours recording the number of transients to help determine the amount of federal and county funds needed for homeless programs.

About 7,500 volunteers participated in last year's count, which found that homelessness in Los Angeles County increased 23 percent to 57,794.

Three members of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will be among the volunteers tonight -- Kathryn Barger, Mark Ridley-Thomas and Hilda Solis.

"Our homeless population has a face and a name,'' said Barger, who will be participating in the count in the San Gabriel Valley. ``In addition to public safety and mental health, there is no greater emergency or mission than to protect those who are most vulnerable and in need.''

Ridley-Thomas will participate in the count in the San Fernando Valley ``because every night thousands of men, women, and families, with nowhere else to go, are sleeping on the streets of Los Angeles County. I count because each of us has a moral responsibility to help those in need.''

Solis will join volunteers in El Monte.

``By ensuring informed decisions and effective funding of programs and directed resources to the areas that need it most, the Homeless Count is the first step towards housing homeless individuals and families,'' Solis said.

Counting will be conducted Wednesday in the South Bay and eastern and western portions of the county, and Thursday in the Antelope Valley, metropolitan Los Angeles and southern Los Angeles County.

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