Viewpoint: Finally, LAHSA Is Releasing the Count

LAHSA, under CEO Dr. Va Lecia Adams Kellum, will unveil the results of the January homeless count.

Well, looky, looky.

Finally, on Thursday, June 27, the Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority (LAHSA) is releasing its January “Point in Time” count.

And, they’re releasing it the same day as the U.S. Presidential debate.

Now, why would they do that? Maybe they’re hoping that everyone will focus on national politics, and not the abject failure that circles around LAHSA like water going down a drain?

This year there should be accurate results because of the app. Initially an app was purchased by LAHSA for $190,000 (taxpayer money), so the volunteers counting, could report immediately.

Problems.

As LASHA Communication Specialist Christopher Yee said, “I think there was definitely a learning curve with the app…if anyone did have significant troubles, we would have logged the irregularities and if there were too many irregularities, the Census tracts were recounted.”

So LAHSA threw that app out and purchased a new one in 2023 for $500,000 (more taxpayer money).

Since everyone was using the app, instead of pen and paper, why did it take five months to tally the results?

If you don’t like the results, you have to work with the numbers and that can take time. For example, when I step on the scale and it says I50, and I don’t like that number, what do I do?

First, subtract five pounds for clothes (even if naked when weighing),  go to the bathroom (hoping to lose water weight), but the easiest is just to adjust the scale. Viola, now I’m at 145.

You might remember in 2022 when former Councilman Mike Bonin proclaimed an area of Venice as a success for housing—with zero homeless.

Resident Jessica Rogers was one of the people who counted that area. Where LAHSA showed zero, she counted 297. Despite the app continuing to crash, Rogers also texted in the results. Despite this, LAHSA reported zero homeless.

Days before the January 24-26, 2024, count, volunteers in Pacific Palisades were told by the Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority (LAHSA) that volunteers were NOT to count Will Rogers State Beach or PCH – an area they had counted for the past nine years.

Volunteers were told that Recs and Parks would count the beaches at a later date and that Caltrans would count the car dwellers on PCH.

CTN asked for LAHSA’s beach and Caltrans count. Information was never shared.

When Caltrans was asked about counting people along the 10 Freeway in Santa Monica, CTN was told to contact LAHSA because Caltrans could not supply any information.

Numbers don’t lie. Do they?

As a volunteer, you are told to count every tent as one person – even if there are two people in the tent – or no one in the tent because a homeless person is using it as storage.

Annually, Palisades volunteers counted RVs along PCH between Gladstone’s and the Bel-Air Bay Club (until last year when they were told to stand down). How many were surfers who decided to sleep in their cars overnight, so they could be the first one out on the waves? Hard to know. How many people were driving down the coast and decided to pull over and nap? Impossible to know. Volunteers are not supposed to speak to the homeless.

How does LAHSA count the number of people in an RV? When CTN inquired, this editor was told, there were very learned people, unlike her, who could safely give an estimate based on statistical algorithms.

But, 2024 is different because now there is quality control.

In a January 26 statement by LAHSA CEO Dr. Va Lecia Adams Kellum, she said there was an improved quality assurance process.

That process included 1) a LAHSA staff member at each deployment site to ensure accuracy in count numbers, 2) the ArcGis QuickCapture app would be a more effective as a user-friendly digital counting tool, and 3) LAHSA would utilize the skills of a demographer and data scientist to continue to optimize the count analysis.

Thank goodness, taxpayers can expect to see some results for the $3 billion that L.A. County budgeted for the homeless.

Good news, using LAHSA’s app, quality control and statistical algorithms, this editor now weighs 135 pounds.

This entry was posted in County Supervisors, General, Homelessness, Viewpoint. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Viewpoint: Finally, LAHSA Is Releasing the Count

  1. TC says:

    Look at any City or LAHSA shelter or housing report and there’s almost always a disclaimer about “the data may include multiple actions for the same client” or “subject to data integrity issues.” LAHSA’s had 31 years to get it right and it has done virtually nothing to house anyone.

  2. Dana Dalton says:

    The homeless situation of Los Angeles is never going to be solved. It is a permanent department within city government now. My gosh, Va Lecia Adams Kellum makes a base salary of $430,000 per year as CEO of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority
    You would think she ran a private company but no; this is our taxpayer money.
    Homelessness in Los Angeles is here to stay and it will only grow and they’ll shuffle the homeless around town every couple years, write book reports and make imaginary proposals that will never be implemented but we will still pay for them.
    it’s a bottomless monetary pit, LAHSA.

  3. Doug Day says:

    1. Homelessness has nothing to do with homes. 2. Voting for dollars to help the homeless does not help the homeless. Voting for dollars to help the homeless helps the people that help the homeless.

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