Supervisors to look at homeless count improvements 

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The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is scheduled Tuesday to discuss improvements to the Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count as well as vote on approving a settlement regarding a traffic collision in the Santa Clarita Valley involving a sheriff’s deputy. 

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority conducted its annual homeless count across L.A. County last month, using a process that is now under scrutiny by the board. 

LAHSA recently began using a mobile app when sending volunteers out to count homeless people in a given area, as opposed to the paper tallies that were previously used. 

According to the motion, co-authored by Supervisors Lindsey Horvath, 3rd District, and Hilda Solis, 1st District, “while the app promised efficiency, utilization has proved challenging.” 

“Issues with the app resulted in several volunteers foregoing the app altogether and reverting to paper tally sheets,” the motion reads, referring to volunteers in Covina and San Gabriel having trouble with the technology. 

The motion also details how the maps provided to volunteers were sometimes difficult to read. 

“The Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count is LAHSA’s primary public-facing event,” the motion reads. “It is important that volunteers for the (point-in-time) count have a positive experience so that they can return for future years to support this massive undertaking. Therefore, the Board of Supervisors should take action to improve future (point-in-time) counts to ensure an accurate count and provide a more positive volunteer experience.” 

In Santa Clarita, more than 50 people volunteered for the count. A couple of those volunteers noted that the process of driving around looking for homeless people, rather than searching for them in less-than-obvious places, could have been done in a more productive manner. 

A settlement negotiation is also on the agenda for Tuesday, this one concerning a 2019 traffic collision in Saugus that allegedly saw a SCV Sheriff’s Station deputy crash into a civilian vehicle. 

According to the Summary Corrective Action Plan, the incident on Jan. 20, 2019, involved an on-duty sheriff’s deputy entering the intersection of Bouquet Canyon Road and Espuella Drive, with the traffic lights on red concerning his direction of travel. The deputy allegedly hit the plaintiff’s Ford F-150 truck after attempting to pass through the red light with flashing lights and sirens. 

“The plaintiffs entered the intersection at approximately 5 mph facing a green traffic signal,” the summary reads, “and reported they did not hear the emergency siren or see the emergency lights prior to the collision due to the windows on their vehicle rolled up.” 

An investigation showed that the deputy was the primary cause of the collision due to failure “to drive an emergency vehicle with due regard for the safety of others,” according to the summary. 

The proposed settlement amount is $800,000.  

Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting begins at 9:30 a.m. and can be viewed live at tinyurl.com/ybem4esf. 

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