In January 2017, volunteers for the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s annual Homeless Count found 57,794 people sleeping in shelters, vehicles or on the streets of Los Angeles County — a staggering 23% increase from the previous year. Santa Monica’s count revealed a 26% increase, outpacing an overall 18% increase in Westside communities.

On Wednesday, Jan. 24, volunteers will once again take to Westside neighborhoods to make contact with our community’s poorest residents and determine whether homelessness remains on the rise.

Westchester volunteers will meet at 7:30 p.m. at the Westchester Municipal Building, 7166 Manchester Ave. Drollinger Properties is providing pizza, snacks and soft drinks. RSVP at

Venice volunteers will meet at 8 p.m. at the Venice Community Housing Corp., 720 Rose Ave. RSVP to (310) 573-8406 or

Culver City volunteers will meet at 8 p.m. at the Culver City Senior Center, 4095 Overland Ave. RSVP to (310) 253-5792 or

Santa Monica’s count begins at 10:30 p.m. at St. Monica’s Catholic Church, 725 California Ave. RSVP to

Other neighborhoods are part of a countywide deployment, and volunteers can sign up at

— Gary Walker