To kick off the new year, Graduate Student Government (GSG) brought together a cohort of students to participate in the annual Point-in-Time Count hosted by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA). Spread across three days, this occasion involves thousands of volunteers across LA County who walk every street in the city to tally individuals experiencing homelessness.
Accounting for one of the largest sheltered and unsheltered homeless populations is no small feat. Over 8,000 people combed through designated “tracts” within larger regions of LA: San Gabriel Valley, San Fernando Valley, West LA, Southeast LA, South Bay, Antelope Valley, Metro LA, and South LA.
Our group signed up with the South LA deployment site since it was right across the street from USC. We were split up into teams of three and canvassed through the residential neighborhoods just southeast of our University Park Campus. My team did not come across any people experiencing homeless in our tracts; however, the total number for the entire county is expected to have grown in the last year.
When the results are released later this semester, I hope to see increased spending on resources for our neighbors by both the federal and local governments. Although there have been efforts to build temporary shelters in each City Council district, many council members have lagged behind schedule. With these new numbers, we may be able to get the ball rolling on these projects again!