By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
The Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness is seeking more volunteers for the 2020 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count, which will take place at night on Wednesday, January 22.
The annual count, hosted by PPTFH and sponsored by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, will have volunteers meet at Corpus Christi Catholic Church at 9 p.m.
Volunteers will then be grouped into teams of four to identify the number of encampments or individuals on a tally sheet.
The event is part of a greater initiative to help end homelessness by bringing needed resources and awareness. From 2018 to 2019, homelessness in Los Angeles County increased by 12%.
The 2019 count revealed that nearly 60,000 people live without permanent shelter in Los Angeles County, more than 16,500 of them in vehicles and 11,000 in tents, according to LAHSA.
In the Palisades, PPTFH estimated there to be a total of 88 homeless individuals living in the Palisades in 2019—down from 107 in 2018. Of that total, PPTFH counted 20 individuals on the streets, 39 individuals in vehicles and three in makeshift shelters.
The count is crucial to understanding the crisis and how large it has become.
“The count is the basis that HUD (The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) uses to determine funding for housing, so it’s important that we determine the number of homeless individuals that need help,” said Doug McCormick, president of the PPTFH. “We encourage everyone to help with the count, and it only takes a few hours of time, once a year.”
LAHSA officials say that they are still in need of volunteers to sufficiently tally Los Angeles County’s homeless population—and the Palisades is one of many locations that is in dire need of more volunteers to canvas the area. PPTFH needs 60 volunteers to cover the Palisades, but there are only 25 people currently signed up.
“We only get one shot at this each year, so it’s really important that we do a good job and we’d like to get as much support as we can,” said David Morena, a site-coordinator for PPTFH.
Register for the Palisades by visiting theycountwillyou.org.