Homeless count

KEEPING COUNT — Volunteers Shirley Love, left, of Lancaster and Joshie Jacobs of Palmdale canvass a field east of Sierra Highway and north of Columbia Way (Avenue M) as they take a census of the homeless and their encampments during the 2018 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count in Lancaster.

Volunteers in the Antelope Valley are needed to help count the homeless in the 2019 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count.

This year’s count will be con­duc­ted Jan. 22 to 24 in Los An­gel­es County. The homeless count is man­dated by the U.S. De­part­ment of Housing and Urban De­vel­op­ment and coordinated by the Los An­geles Homeless Services Auth­ority.

Hundreds of volunteers will be needed to count the homeless in the Antelope Valley on Jan. 24. Last year about 250 people signed up to count.

“What we’re looking to do this year is get well above that,” said Tim­othy Kirkconnell, community en­gagement coordinator for the An­telope Valley.

As of Thursday about 100 people have signed up.

“Anybody and everybody that wants to sign up we encourage them to,” Kirkconnell said.

Volunteers must be at least 18 years old. Volunteer counters typ­ic­ally work in teams of two people who set out in their community to identify and count homeless peop­le in their assigned area. They con­duct visual counts of people liv­ing on the streets, in tents, in make­shift shelters or in their cars. They will count between 6 and 9 a.m.

Volunteers will be shown an 11- to 12-minute video the morning of the count to show what they are looking for and how the count is performed.

Volunteers can visit www.theycountwillyou.org/volunteer and select the deployment site of their choice.

In the Antelope Valley the de­ploy­ment sites are Acton; Antelope Acres; Lake Los Angeles; Leona Val­ley/Lake Elizabeth; east, west, south, and central Lancaster, Lit­tle­rock/Sun Village; and east and west Palmdale.

“A couple of our more far-flung sites definitely need more volunteers,” Kirk­connell said.

For example there is great need for volunteers in places such as Acton, Lake Los Angeles, and Lit­tle­rock.

“We have a great need out there because there’s an under-served homeless com­munity and we want to make sure they get the ser­vices they need,” Kirk­connell said.

Last year’s count showed the Valley’s home­less population de­creased 16% to 3,203 peop­le, according to the Los An­gel­es Homeless Ser­vices Auth­ority. The An­tel­ope Valley’s homeless pop­ulation is about 6% of the Los Angeles County total.

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