Thursday, February 18, 2010

Census undercount of homelessness may lead to a resource-starved region

“Los Angeles is a resource-starved area,” explained Michael Arnold, the Executive Director of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. “We only shelter 30% of our region’s homeless population.”

The head of the L.A. County’s census efforts, Julie Beardsley, told the group, “We are the 800 pound gorilla in America’s living room because we have the largest population of homelessness in the country.” Last year, the County Board of Supervisors instructed all of its departments to assist in the U.S. Census efforts.

For every person not counted, the region loses over $1,100 in federal resources each year. This totals hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenues in a span of ten years.

The California Community Foundation is investing $1.5 million to help communities to count people traditionally under-counted, including people who are homeless.

For the complete article, click here.