There are nearly 53,000 homeless people living in Los Angeles County. We know this because each year volunteers count each one.
Mayor Garcetti says if the homeless don't get counted, LA won't get enough money from the federal government to help them.
Public officials put out a call this week for the thousands of volunteers they'll need to help with the 2019 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count in January.
LA County's homeless population went down in the 2018 count by about 4 percent. It was the first decrease in four years.
Frank Thompson is a resident of a new affordable housing complex built using funds from LA's Measure H.
“I’ve been homeless for two years,” said Thompson. “And now that I’m not I can finally get my son out of foster care, and this is a step for me, a great step.”
But the number of homeless in LA County is still roughly 33 percent higher than it was five years ago.
“Everybody sleeping on our streets is a person. They have a name, they probably at one point had a family, they have a story,” said LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn.
You can sign up to volunteer for the count online. Visit theycountwillyou.org. Enter the zip code where you'd like to work and fill out the RSVP form.
2019 results won't be available for several months after the January count.