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Volunteers needed to count homeless in L.A. County

January 14, 2011 | 12:42 pm


L.A. County is looking for thousands of volunteers to help count homeless people on the streets and in shelters and other institutions.

Los Angeles is considered to have the highest street homeless population in the country, with as many as 50,000 people on any given night, according to the county Homeless Services Authority. A more accurate accounting helps officials figure out how to apportion resources and how factors such as the difficult economy affect the population.

The count, which is mandated every two years by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, takes place Jan. 25 to Jan. 27 in Los Angeles, the San Gabriel Valley, east L. A. County, the South Bay and the Antelope Valley.

Volunteers -- 4,000 are needed -- are trained before they are deployed, said Calvin Fortenberry, communications director for the homeless authority. The website provides information about exactly what volunteers can do to help and how to sign up.

-- Mary MacVean

Photo: Outside the Charles Cobb Apartments on San Pedro Street in downtown Los Angeles. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times.