Community volunteers are invited to participate in the eighth biennial Homeless Count on Thursday, January 26.
Required by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the count helps "define the scope of homelessness", both in Long Beach and throughout the nation, "determine existing resources, identify gaps and highlight progress toward ending homelessness," according to the city press release.
“The Homeless Count is a great opportunity for community volunteers to come together in this citywide outreach to some of our most vulnerable residents,” said Mayor Robert Garcia in a statement. “Participating in the Homeless Count is an opportunity for volunteers to learn about services available to assist homeless people, meet service providers, and interact with others concerned about homelessness in our city.”
The lead agency for the Long Beach Continuum of Care, a local planning body that coordinates housing and services funding for homeless families and individuals, the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services (Health Department) Homeless Services Division, organizes the count.
Homeless counts from 2007 to 2015 recorded the number of homeless and formerly homeless people placed in emergency shelters, transitional housing and permanent supportive housing, which has increased 50 percent from 1,679 to 2,345, according to the city.
Long Beach will be sectioned into 47 GIS mapped segments for the count, with teams of three to five individuals, composed of community volunteers, service providers and homeless program participants, to canvass each segment to count and survey the people there experiencing homelessness. Each segment takes between two and three hours to cover.
People living in emergency and transitional housing programs within the city will also be recorded through a residential-based count conducted by city staff.
For volunteers, one-hour orientations will be hosted at the Multi-Service Center, starting Tuesday, January 17. Teams will be assigned and deployed from the Multi-Service Center in Long Beach. Participants must be 18 years or older, and can request to be deployed at either 5:00AM or 8:00AM.
Volunteers only need to attend one of the following orientation dates:
- Tuesday, January 17, at 1:00PM and 6:00PM
- Wednesday, January 18, at 1:00PM and 6:00PM
- Thursday, January 19, at 1:00PM and 6:00PM
Volunteers can assist in the following ways:
- Spread the word about the homeless count and help recruit volunteers through flyers and social media.
- Donate funds or secure store credits to support count activities.
- Host donation drives to collect items such as socks, travel size hygiene products and pre-packaged snacks.
- Donations should be delivered directly to the Multi-Service Center before January 26.
The Long Beach Continuum of Care manages and tracks the city's homeless care systems, which includes the analysis of local homeless population data through the Homeless Management Information System and biennial homeless counts, according to the release. Last year, the Continuum of Care was awarded millions in grant money to address the citywide challenge of homelessness.
Download the Volunteer Form and Homeless Count Flyer and Fact Sheet here and submit completed volunteer forms via fax to (562) 570-4066 or via email to
. For additional information about Homeless Count, please contact Elsa Ramos, Multi-Service Center Coordinator, at
or (562) 570-4588.
The Multi-Service Center is located at 1301 West 12th Street.