Count Volunteer Tips


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2015 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count

Count Volunteer Trainer Tips


  1. Safe­ty is the most impor­tant part of the Count. Vol­un­teers should nev­er wan­der off by them­selves and always stay togeth­er. If they are feel­ing uncom­fort­able count­ing in a cer­tain area, they are to note where they did not count (on their map), imme­di­ate­ly inform the site coor­di­na­tor, and con­tin­ue count­ing in anoth­er area (if applic­a­ble). The site coor­di­na­tor will have a spe­cial team count that area.


  1. Make sure to explain the impor­tance of each role: 
    1. All team com­po­si­tions are flex­i­ble and may require mul­ti­ple roles.
    2. Nav­i­ga­tors should be good with read­ing maps and giv­ing directions.
    3. There should always be one per­son des­ig­nat­ed as the spot­ter and one as the counter when walk­ing the tracts.


  1. Make sure vol­un­teers under­stand that the red dash­es out­line their tract area. Reit­er­ate they are to count the areas inside the red dash­es only.
  2. Teams should strate­gize how they will approach their tracts (i.e. North, South, East, West) to make sure they are cov­er­ing all areas and/or are not going in circles.


  1. Vol­un­teers should respect the space of home­less indi­vid­u­als and not draw atten­tion to them­selves. If greet­ed, greet them and explain they are par­tic­i­pat­ing in the street count, only if asked.


  1. Express the impor­tance of an accu­rate count. Vol­un­teers should write legibly. 
    1. Space is lim­it­ed on the tal­ly sheet and writ­ing in the margins/on back is acceptable.
    2. Check-out will be delayed if the tal­ly sheet is not legible.


  1. A fam­i­ly con­sists of at least 1 adult and 1 child oth­er­wise every­one is con­sid­ered to be an individual.


  1. Please note, even when you are count­ing in dri­ving tracts, you must get out and walk cer­tain areas where home­less indi­vid­u­als may be sleep­ing in. Use com­mon sense when deter­min­ing when to walk vs. dri­ve in alleys and/or moun­tain­ous, res­i­den­tial areas, etc.


  1. Phone num­bers to law enforce­ment (Senior Lead Offi­cers — SLOs) will be includ­ed with the doc­u­ments received with clipboards.


  1. Reit­er­ate what con­sti­tutes an emer­gency. We do not want law enforce­ment occu­pied with non-emer­gen­cies that will make them unavail­able for REAL


  1. Remind vol­un­teers to speak to the media only if they feel com­fort­able. Refer media to the site coor­di­na­tor if they require more detailed information.


Above of all, the most impor­tant tip is for vol­un­teers to have 

FUN and enjoy the experience!!

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