Culver City Homeless Count – Raw Data Used to Estimate Numbers

Every year, the official count of how many people are homeless in Culver City is updated. Many cities suspended the count in 2021, owing to the pandemic, but Culver City has continues throughout. 

The presentation on the 2023 Homeless Count was given at the Monday, Sept 18, 2023 council meeting by Paul Rubenstein, Deputy Chief of External Relation for Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.

According to the report, “Homelessness is a county-wide challenge that knows no boundaries…it is a challenge we all must rise to meet. This is the level we feel that makes the most sense to track and to house people… The methodology used is based on rules designed by US Department of Housing; we partner with the University of Southern California [to create the count.] Due to the population size …the estimates are less precise as we drill down into specific jurisdictions.”

The annual count in Culver City  is done by city staff. 

Rubenstein offered “The raw data is accurate. We use new tools, including a mobil data collection app, which was a shift from a previous year. Where error comes into play, [it can be because] there are estimates. USC then takes the data, and we use a series of mathematical equations to come up with our population estimate.”

People ‘doing the count’ will count the number of cars, but not the number of people in each car, out of respect for the privacy of those who are unhoused. 

“It’s a massive effort that happens over a couple of nights – then the survey happens after that, and they go out and interview people they encounter. They will ask about age, things like that, as part of their screening.” 

The count this year found 38 sheltered (living in temporary quarters)  and 60 unsheltered (sleeping rough) alongside a total of 106 makeshift shelters. The count, using raw data, roughly estimated 261 unhoused people living in Culver City. 

If you see someone that you think is unhoused and in need of help, you can contact the city. Homeless Case Coordinator Brenda Diaz can be reached at [email protected], or call the Culver City Homelessness Line at (310) 253-6767. Please include as complete a description of the person and their location as possible. 

CORRECTION – A previous draft of this article stated that 38 people were counted as living in vehicles; the count shows them living in temporary quarters.

Judith Martin-Straw

The Actors' Gang