South Pasadena Police Department officials split up in teams Tuesday night and went on a search to determine how many people in South Pasadena are without a home.
It was all part of the 2020 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count, a three-day event held each January in L.A. County.
After three hours, starting at 7 p.m., the crew in uniform and one community member located 10 homeless individuals and encampments after crisscrossing the city. A breakdown of their ages and gender will be turned over to county officials.
Shannon Robledo, a lieutenant with the SPPD, said the department will use the data to help us deploy where resources are most needed.
Local police were asked to count those living in encampments, cars, SUV, campers, tents and other makeshift shelters.
Randy Wise, a corporal with the department who organized the event, told officers before they traversed the town he wanted a “snapshot” of the homeless situation.
“If someone you think should be in a spot is not there then you can’t count him,” he explained to the officers. “That’s why we do a snapshot because people move around. If he’s at the hospital, he’ll be counted there. Anyone in jail who got arrested will be counted by the jail staff.”
A list of resources, water, blankets, hats, toiletries, nutritious bars and other items were offered those seeking assistance.
According to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, which coordinates the city and county response to homelessness and organizes the yearly count, the 2019 count found 58,936 homeless people living in Los Angeles County and 36,300 residing in the city of Los Angeles, showing increases of 12% and 16%, respectively, over 2018. The 2018 count found that Los Angeles County had 52,765 homeless people, which was a slight dip from the year before.
Keenly aware that homelessness is a concern in the community and countywide, the South Pasadena Police Department has created a resource guide for those seeking support. It provides information on housing, food and mental health services. The guide is available at the SPPD, 1422 Mission Street.