The Long Beach Continuum of Care (CoC) will be conducting the 2017 homeless point-in-time count for the Long Beach area, on Thursday, January 26. Volunteers will canvass the streets to count every unsheltered homeless person in Long Beach.

The local count, part of a federally mandated national count, is intended to provide a snapshot of sheltered and unsheltered people experiencing homelessness throughout Long Beach at one point in time, giving a headcount that will help track progress on efforts to end homelessness.

The last biennial count, conducted in 2015, showed 2,345 people experiencing homelessness in Long Beach- an 18 percent decrease from 2013 – according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

“When speaking about homelessness, we group people based upon one component of their life, the lack of permanent housing. As a society, we have a responsibility to assist those, who for whatever reason are unhoused,” said DLBA’s Community Outreach Manager, Steve BeCotte. “Homelessness cannot be solved by the government alone, this is a public and mental health issue that affects all parts of our city. Having the community involved by volunteering in the biennial count and in the many service providers dedicated to helping the homeless makes all the difference.”

The CoC will hold orientation sessions for volunteers to learn about who becomes homeless and why and what resources are available in the community to help. This is an opportunity for community members to be part of the solution and connect to organizations or community partners working towards ending homelessness in Long Beach.

To learn more about the homeless count and volunteering, visit the City of Long Beach’s homeless services site.