Research Projects

Project Summary
The USC team will serve as the statistical and methodological consultant to the homeless count. As part of this task, the researchers will conduct a demographic survey to understand the characteristics of homeless subpopulations throughout the Los Angeles region.
Project Description
This team of USC investigators will provide expert consultation to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority to ensure rigorous methods for estimating Los Angeles County’s homeless population. This includes conducting a demographic survey that will be administered to unsheltered homeless youth, families and individuals—that is, the street population only. This includes individuals in places not meant for human habitation, such as cars, vans, recreational vehicles, campers, tents and makeshift shelters. The objective of the demographic survey component of the homeless count is to complete demographic surveys with homeless youth, families and individuals living on the streets in the Los Angeles region to confidently determine the demographics of these populations at various organizational levels (e.g., supervisorial districts, service planning areas, etc.), along with three focus communities (Skid Row, Hollywood and Venice). The USC team will consult and provide feedback on demographic surveys and training modules for interviewers. In addition, the researchers will recruit interviewers to complete 5,500 demographic surveys of eligible unsheltered families, youth and individuals experiencing homelessness in the study region, among other tasks to ensure sufficient information is gathered to generate statistically reliable estimates of demographic characteristics. Surveyors will also be instructed to connect survey participants who are interested in housing or services to the appropriate referral contact provided by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.
Funding Source
Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority
Project Investigators
Robynn Cox, USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work
Gary Painter, USC Price School of Public Policy
Jennifer Ailshire, USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology
Principal Investigators
Benjamin Henwood
Karen Lincoln
Research Period
September 1, 2016 June 30, 2017
Total Award Amount
$442,734