The following is a press release from the city of Beverly Hills.
A group of 27 Beverly Hills volunteers and city staff, including police officers, completed a count of the homeless population in Beverly Hills as part of a countywide effort to understand and address the complexities of homelessness. The Beverly Hills team counted 30 homeless individuals in parking lots, bushes, parks, alleyways and an encampment from 8 p.m. on Jan. 30 to 12:30 a.m. on Jan. 31. The count included three women and 27 men.
“This effort every two years is valuable in two important ways,” said Jim Latta, Human Services administrator for the city of Beverly Hills. “It contributes to the knowledge base of the region as a whole and it helps us in Beverly Hills to identify and make contact with our homeless citizens. Once we get to know them and their stories, we are in a much better position to offer
The city of Beverly Hills provided a “deployment center” for workers and volunteers. Residents including members of Human Relations Commission and Team Beverly Hills, and students from local universities were among the volunteers. A similar count was conducted in every community in Los Angeles County at the same time.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires all agencies providing services to the homeless to complete a count every two years.
In addition to the biennial count, Human Services staff, the city’s Changing Lives and Sharing Places (CLASP) homeless outreach team and the Police Department keep an ongoing tally of the homeless population using day-to-day knowledge of individuals in Beverly Hills. Latta said that of the 30 people counted, city staff knew half of them by name.
The homeless count in Beverly Hills has declined in recent years. In 2009, the city counted 42 homeless individuals and in 2011 it was 37.