Supes announce Greater Los Angeles Youth Homeless Count

Los Angeles County Seal.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors officially announced  the annual Greater Los Angeles Youth Homeless Count, or L.A. Youth Count, to take place from Jan. 22-31, at Tuesday’s board meeting. 

Last year, the count found that there were an estimated 4,021 young adults, ages 18-24, who were experiencing homelessness in the county, according to the motion report. 

More than 500 transition-age youth, or young adults, were facing homelessness, 88 of whom were sheltered and nearly 450 unsheltered, in the Santa Clarita and San Fernando valleys, according to the 2019 count. 

“It is a priority for the city, through the continued partnerships with the county and local services providers, to ensure those experiencing homelessness have access to high-quality support and resources in Santa Clarita,” said Kevin Strauss, communications specialist for the city of Santa Clarita. 

The city of Santa Clarita works alongside the Community Task Force to address homelessness in the community. 

“In collaboration with the Community Task Force on Homelessness, the city will continue to address and implement action items identified in the Community Plan to Address Homelessness that will have a meaningful impact on those residents of all ages,” Strauss added. 

Each year, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, University of Southern California, volunteers and others, conduct the L.A. Youth Count by recording the number of young adults experiencing homelessness throughout the county, county officials said. 

“The Los Angeles County Youth Count helps determine the number of youth who are homeless, identify the factors that led to their homelessness and allocate the resources necessary for their shelter and well-being,” said a prepared statement from Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who represents the 5th District, which includes the Santa Clarita Valley. “Foster youth fall into homelessness at a significantly higher rate than their peers, and I am most interested in the critical data the Youth Count will provide so we can help break this devastating cycle.” 

This count specifically works to represent the most vulnerable populations experiencing homelessness, which are the youth. 

“It is necessary to focus efforts and attention on the LA Youth Count to ensure young people are represented in estimates of those experiencing homelessness in our community,” the county report states. “It is crucial that we count youth experiencing homelessness to identify the causes of youth homelessness and connect youth to services.” 

Once the results from the 2020 L.A. Youth Count are available, The supervisors are directing LAHSA to recommend changes to the survey for the 2021 L.A. Youth Count, according to county officials. 

Supervisors also directed the county’s chief executive officer to encourage county employees to volunteer in the count, the report states. 

“As I have adopted ‘Our County, Our Children, Our Commitment’ for the theme of my year as chair of the Board of Supervisors, I am committed to working with our local communities to find better methods to support young people and prevent them from falling into homelessness,” Barger’s statement said. “Supporting our youth is an investment in our county for the future.”

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