Flashlight — check. Map — check. Safety rules — check. Police phone numbers — check.
Our four-person team jumped into the SUV and took off. No, we weren’t going on a wilderness trek. Our mission was to count the homeless — in Beverly Hills.
My journey through dark alleys that I didn’t know existed began when I received an email in early January from The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles asking for volunteers to join the Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority (LAHSA), which each year conducts a three-day mission to count our homeless neighbors across Los Angeles. Knowing how many homeless people live throughout the county factors into how much funding is needed for community services. An important and sensible reason, but I was just curious — who are the homeless? Where do they sleep? Are there many children living on the streets?