Welcome to The Way Home, your guide to how LA County is helping people and communities affected by homelessness.
Current Edition | January 24, 2020 | En Español
A special message from Homeless Initiative Executive Director Phil Ansell
Volunteering for the annual Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count is truly a humbling and transformative experience. I’ve never seen my own community and neighborhood the same way since I started volunteering for the count more than a decade ago.
This week, I was one of thousands of volunteers who fanned out across Los Angeles County counting our unhoused neighbors.
The annual point-in-time count plays a critical role in the countywide movement to prevent and combat homelessness by providing essential information about the distribution and characteristics of our homeless neighbors. But the count is also critical in bringing more than 8,000 volunteers face-to-face with the reality of homelessness, often in our own neighborhoods.
As the director of L.A. County’s Homeless Initiative, I am at the front line of this work every day. But this annual experience always leaves me with a clear reminder of why we are working so hard to bring housing and services to those in need.
I often think about a woman I saw sweeping the sidewalk around her tent; that gesture conveyed so much about her need to create an island of dignity for herself. And I think about counting with my formerly-homeless cousin, who had moved out of her car into my home not long before. She knew where to look for people experiencing homelessness, because she had experience trying to find safe places to sleep outside.
The magnitude of our homeless crisis can be overwhelming, and numbers can mask the depth of the tragedy and suffering which touches everyone who lives in Los Angeles County. The Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count pierces that mask, bringing every volunteer into contact with the horrific reality of homelessness in Los Angeles County. Confronting that reality – without flinching – is fundamental to being able to bring our homeless neighbors home.
Thanks to you...
... individuals have been permanently housed over the first 27 months of the ¼-cent Measure H sales tax. Additionally, approximately 32,000 individuals have been sheltered in interim housing funded entirely or partially with Measure H dollars.
People helping people
VIDEO: Thousands of Los Angeles County residents fanned out across 4,000 square miles over three days to count the individuals and families experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles County.
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