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Statement On The Economic Roundtable's Homeless Count Report

November 28, 2017

Los Angeles, CA (November 28, 2017) – Peter Lynn, Executive Director of The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, issued this statement concerning the report of the Economic Roundtable on the Greater Los Angeles Count:

“LAHSA has always welcomed ideas on how the Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count can improve from one year to the next. Elected officials, community leaders, researchers, and homeless service providers have taken the opportunity to share with us their expertise and to offer suggestions. We are grateful for their input, which through the years has benefitted the largest count of its kind in the country.

In that vein, we appreciate the release of the report issued by the Economic Roundtable. Reading the document, it’s apparent that the researchers have put considerable time into this effort.

While well-intentioned, the report does not reflect sufficient familiarity with how the count is conducted, including training of volunteers and collection of data. If adopted, some of its recommendations could negatively affect the collection of critical information. Others are not feasible given the scope and size of this effort. Finally, the report only tacitly acknowledges that many of the methods we deploy conform to standards established by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), a requirement for over $100 million that Los Angeles County receives in annual federal funding.

Last year, the count attracted a record number of volunteers, over 8000. It has become a major civic event across Los Angeles County, as residents walk and drive through their communities, counting their neighbors who are living on the streets and in shelters. We are now actively preparing for the 2018 Point-in-Time Count, which takes place January 23-25. We look forward to once again working with the public to provide an authoritative record of the state of homelessness in LA County.”

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority is a joint powers authority of the City and County of Los Angeles, created in 1993 to address the problems of homelessness in Los Angeles County. LAHSA is the lead agency in the HUD-funded Los Angeles Continuum of Care, and coordinates and manages more than $243 million annually in federal, state, county and city funds for programs providing shelter, housing and services to homeless persons. For more information visit www.lahsa.org.