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Social Services

Accounting for L.A.'s homeless

Accounting for L.A.'s homeless

On Tuesday evening, some 7,000 volunteers will embark upon a three-night effort to count the number of homeless people who live on streets, in tents and vehicles, or bed down in temporary shelters in Los Angeles County. The counters, under the supervision of officials from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, plan to fan out across more than 95% of the census tracts in the county — the most territory the L.A. count has ever covered.

For more than a decade, this has been a biennial ritual. But this time, spurred by extra funding from the Veterans Administration and a sense that two years is too long to see if programs to house and help homeless people are actually...