“The past is a foreign country,” author L.P. Hartley famously wrote in his book The Go-Between. Perhaps that’s why we hold on to the postcards…
Topanga Canyon and Malibu residents are invited to volunteer to join the annual Homeless Count taking place in Malibu on January 26, 2022 when thousands of volunteers will help the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) to conduct the annual street count of the County’s homeless population.
“The annual homeless count is an important way to collect valuable, real-world data that is crucial for creating effective policies and programs to address the humanitarian crisis of homelessness,” said Mayor Paul Grisanti. “Volunteering for the homeless count is a valuable learning experience and also a great way for community members to contribute to the collective efforts to address homelessness.”
The 2020 Homeless Count results showed 66,436 people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles County. It showed 239 homeless people in Malibu, an increase from 154 in 2019, and 155 in 2018. However, an informal count performed by the Malibu Homelessness Working Group done in 2021 showed 157 unhoused individuals in Malibu. The 239 counted in 2020 is thought to be due to a change in parking regulations outside of the City that pushed numerous cars and RVs into Malibu.
Volunteers are needed to conduct the count activities in Malibu. Any community members interested in participating in this year’s count can find more information or register on the count website at TheyCountWillYou.org. Volunteers under 16 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
The purpose of this federally mandated count goes far beyond meeting a requirement. The data from the Homeless Count is also important for tracking, measuring and monitoring progress towards addressing homelessness which can be used to adjust programs and policies. It will be used to assist in the ongoing implementation of the City of Malibu’s Homelessness Strategic Plan.
To learn more about the City’s efforts to address homelessness, visit www.MalibuCity.org/Homelessness.