WEST HOLLYWOOD—During this year’s homeless count on Thursday, January 28, the city of West Hollywood saw an increase in its number of homeless people. Each year the city participates in the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s (LAHSA) annual homeless count, in an effort to help improve the lives of homeless men, women, and children across the Greater Los Angeles area. LAHSA, in the past, organized the count on a bi-annual basis; beginning in 2015, the count became annual.
Deputies from the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station and members of the outreach team from PATH, People Assisting the Homeless led teams of volunteers through the entire 1.9-square-mile area of West Hollywood.
According to a press release from Joshua Schare, Public Information Officer for the city of West Hollywood, the 2016 Street Count Tally indicated that a specific point-in-time count of 87 homeless people in the region. This is an increase from past annual counts. In 2015, the Street Count tally was 43 people and in 2013 the Street Count tally was 45.
The city’s Social Services Division confirmed these numbers and submitted its report on Thursday night to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority for inclusion in LAHSA’s countywide assessment. The city will work with LAHSA to determine whether the factors has led to the increase in West Hollywood’s tally is unique to the city, or if the numbers reflect a trend across the region.
West Hollywood has seen an increase of homeless people in the neighborhoods of between Fairfax and La Brea Avenue. The count showed that there were 48 homeless people east of Fairfax Avenue within the city’s geographic municipal boundaries — 35 people were counted north of Santa Monica Boulevard; 13 people were tallied south of Santa Monica Boulevard. The majority of people counted were male individuals over the age of 25; no families or encampments were seen in the count.
The city is planning to enhance current efforts in effect with a focused street-outreach response with teams from PATH, the Los Angeles LGBT Center and Friends Research Institute.
“The numbers revealed in this homelessness count are vitally important,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor Lindsey P. Horvath. “This data fundamentally informs the City about where resources are most needed and it empowers the City to respond in an effective manner in providing needed assistance to people in West Hollywood who are homeless.”
Because of this year’s El Nino forecasts of heavy rains and storm conditions the city has increased additional winter resources into place.
The City of West Hollywood works closely with PATH (People Assisting The Homeless) and the Los Angeles LGBT Center to meet demand during winter conditions, as well. There are several resources for homeless individuals:
- The City contracts with PATH for 10 shelter beds (among other services);
- The City participates in PATH’s Hotel/Motel Voucher Program, which is an emergency bed option for homeless community members in crisis after hours and on the weekends and includes transportation;
- The City has a partnership with the Los Angeles LGBT Center, which provides shelter and services for at-risk youth; and
- The City assists with connecting people to local alcohol and drug residential programs and transitional (sober) living facilities, which provide treatment, shelter, and wraparound services.
For those homeless individuals who decline access to indoor accommodations, outreach teams that will provide assistance with items like food and hygiene kits, as well as blankets, socks, and other emergency supplies.
For more information about the city of West Hollywood and its resources for the homeless can visit www.weho.org/services/social-services/homeless-shelter. For additional information about the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s (LAHSA) annual homeless count or if you become aware of someone who needs shelter or services, please contact the City of West Hollywood’s Social Services Division at (323) 848-6510.
During nights or weekends, or if there is an emergency requiring immediate assistance, please call the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station at (310) 855-8850. For people who are deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.