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Volunteers offer medical services, assistance to Pasadena's unhoused during homeless count
By Leo Stallworth,
The city of Pasadena is conducting the annual count of its homeless population , but it's not just about numbers. It's also providing people with medical services and other assistance. Last year's count amounted to 522 unhoused individuals in Pasadena. It's a tedious task requiring compassion and patience. Volunteers are focused on getting the most accurate count possible. Pasadena Vice Mayor Felicia Williams says it's important for them to get this snapshot in time because it helps the city get funding. "It also helps us understand the problem and then we can also outreach to these individuals," she said. That outreach consists of administering vaccines and offering other health services through the city's own health department, she said. Greater Los Angeles homeless count begins, conducted by thousands of volunteers
The 2023 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count, a point-in-time snapshot of homelessness in Los Angeles County that helps determine the distribution of funding and services to the unhoused, is set to begin.
During the count, medical professionals accompany volunteers to do just that. "What's so unique about this program is not only are we doing the homeless count, but we're also providing flu vaccine, bivalent vaccine for COVID, and Narcan," said Dr. Eric Handler, the city's public health officer. "Other jurisdictions are not using that point-in-time touchpoint to provide those opportunities." The homeless count in cities like Pasadena and throughout Los Angeles County began Tuesday night and will continue through Thursday night. The official homeless county for the city of L.A. last year is 42,000. In L.A. County, the number was a bit more than 69,000. The county's numbers is more than a 4% increase from the 2020 count. There was no 2021 count due to the pandemic. Every city, including Pasadena, is focused on ending homelessness sooner than later. Pasadena social worker Nathan Press wants to "find a solution to this problem. To shut the revolving door and actually find sustainable, reliable solutions which is unique given our city is so small, so close and so intimate."