News Articles

Who counts as ‘homeless’ depends on how you ask

Housing & Homelessness
Poverty & Family Economics

Al Jazeera America

By Joanna S. Kao, E. Tammy Kim, and Haya El Nasser

LOS ANGELES — About two dozen volunteers gathered in a room Wednesday night for their instructions: Don’t shine flashlights at people. Don’t talk to them. Use your judgment when you see a recreational vehicle or makeshift tent. Do not get out of the car alone.

It was day two of a three-day homeless count in Los Angeles, the U.S. city with the largest population living on the streets. About 6,000 people had signed up to help. Each was required to attend a 30-minute training session, then paired with another volunteer and provided a map, tally sheet and flashlight…

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