Los Angeles has been called the homeless capital of the U.S. With a problem so large, the county must track it closely.
Which is why every two years, volunteers spread across the county to count the number of Angelenos living on the streets. In 2011, nearly 5,000 people helped and found that more than 51,000 people were homeless at the time, a three percent drop from 2009, Patch reports.
And many volunteers are needed again this year. The video above helps explain how it works.
“We have three thousand volunteers so far, and we’re trying to get to five thousand,” Mark Silverbush, policy and planning analyst for the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, said on Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky's blog. “We will have more data available than ever before.”
In addition to LA, Long Beach and Santa Monica are conducting their own counts. Here's how to help:
Long Beach Citywide Count of Homeless Persons
Jan. 24. Approximately 300 volunteers are needed. Click here for info.
LAHSA Greater Los Angeles Homelessness Count
Jan. 29-31. Sign up at theycountwillyou.org.
Santa Monica Annual Homelessness Count
Jan. 30. 200 volunteers needed. Sign up here.
In case you need a little celebrity motivation, here's Kobe's endorsement.