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Should LA County Rethink The Annual Homeless Count?




A woman walks past tents for the homeless lining a street in Los Angeles, California on February 1, 2021.
A woman walks past tents for the homeless lining a street in Los Angeles, California on February 1, 2021.
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

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L.A.’s annual homeless count was cancelled this year due to the pandemic, and its cancellation has left room to reimagine the process. 

As reported by the L.A. Times, there are folks involved in the count who have critiqued it as providing very limited data at best - data that ends up being the basis for how funds and resources are allocated. 

What are the benefits and drawbacks of the annual homelessness count? Is there a better way of determining the number of unhoused people in the county? 

Guests:

Heidi Marston, executive director of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), the lead agency coordinating housing and services for homeless families and individuals in Los Angeles County; she tweets @heidimarstonLA

Jennifer Hark-Dietz, executive director of PATH, a statewide homeless housing and services agency