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How a modern homeless census can save lives

The City of Long Beach partnered with Akido to provide strategic intel that shaped outreach and program plans by modernizing their annual homeless count.

People censused

Over 2,000 people experiencing homelessness were censused in the City of Long Beach in 2020.

Reduction in data delay

The time to analyze and act on homeless count data decreased dramatically from months to days.

The widespread homelessness crisis in Southern California combines a raft of gruesome social maladies from mental illness and addiction to violence and poverty, in a visceral condition that has the capacity to both sadden and enrage communities. 

Difficult as they are to come to grips with, the root causes of homelessness must be uncovered and accounted for if we are going to put an end to this heartbreaking epidemic.

Each year in cities across America, volunteers conduct “homeless counts.” Each individual  experiencing homelessness is tallied and that data is used for a variety of functions, ranging from the determination of federal Department of Housing and Urban Development aid each city will receive to helping local advocates and politicians measure the impact of their regional programs. 

Akido collaborated with the City of Long Beach to bring homeless counts into the 21st Century, starting with Long Beach's 2020 PIT (point in time) count.

Historically, annual data on the nearly 1% of the population of the City of Long Beach experiencing homelessness has taken months to be processed into digestible insights. This crucial delay in compiling and digitizing count surveys meant that the movement of homeless encampments often outpaced the count data. It’s impossible to address a problem you can no longer accurately locate. 

Within hours of the Akido count, outreach teams were equipped with geotagged census data to help identify new hotspots where the city’s two thousand unhoused residents could receive city services. Timely and sophisticated data on “first time” homelessness and precipitating factors revitalized the city’s approach to targeted enrollment -- particularly for housing and services geared towards re-establishing quality of life for a population too often stripped of hope.

In addition to supporting the 2022 City of Long Beach count, Akido is the chosen partner to support multiple homeless count efforts across LA County.

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