City Column: They count … will you? 2019 Homeless Count

Volunteers fill out forms at The Centre in Santa Clarita as they prepare to participate in the annual homeless count on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal
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We are fortunate to have such a caring and giving community here in Santa Clarita. We have volunteers who generously give their time and skills for a variety of events and initiatives. Whether you’re a long-term volunteer — or looking to get involved — the 2019 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count is for you.

The count is spearheaded by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) and will take place here in Santa Clarita the evening of Tuesday, Jan. 22. Similar counts will be held throughout the week in all areas of Los Angeles County. Volunteers are needed to assist with this point-in-time count.

Each area is counted on a single night, with a goal of accounting for the number of people in the community who are experiencing homelessness – including both sheltered and unsheltered populations.

We are hoping to get approximately 100 volunteers to assist us with the 2019 Homeless Count (on Tuesday, Jan. 22). Please consider giving a few hours out of your evening to take part in this important program. Volunteers must be 18 years or older to participate and can register online by visiting TheyCountWillYou.org.

Councilwoman Laurene Weste

In Santa Clarita, our volunteers will gather at The Centre (20880 Centre Pointe Parkway) at 7 p.m. and team up to help count homeless individuals in the Santa Clarita Valley. The count is expected to last about four hours, during which teams will drive to predetermined locations to conduct a visual tally of unsheltered individuals.

Volunteer counters and drivers will receive materials and instructions at The Centre prior to the start of the count.

We are hoping to get approximately 100 volunteers to assist us with the 2019 Homeless Count. Please consider giving a few hours out of your evening to take part in this important program. Volunteers must be 18 years or older to participate and can register online by visiting TheyCountWillYou.org.

Over the past few years, your City Council and our community partners have made great strides toward a lasting impact on homelessness. Action items in the Community Plan to Address Homelessness are already underway. The first and most notable is the formation of the Community Task Force on Homelessness, made up of community stakeholders and led by Mayor Marsha McLean and Mayor Pro Tem Cameron Smyth.

We are thankful for the more than 30 local organizations volunteering to serve on this task force. They include nonprofit and religious organizations, schools, medical providers, and service providers like Bridge to Home and Family Promise.

The Community Task Force on Homelessness, and these individual organizations, use the results of each year’s Homeless Count to best tailor their services and resources. We rely on our volunteers to help make the Homeless Count successful year after year.

Again, the event this year will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 22 and volunteers will meet at The Centre at 7 p.m. You can learn more and register to assist us at TheyCountWillYou.org.

To find out more about what the city is doing to prevent homelessness, please visit santa-clarita.com/homelessness.

Laurene Weste is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected]

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