Earlier this year LAHSA announced with much fanfare and gnashing of the old dental protrusions that the homeless population of the City of Los Angeles had increased by 11% year over year. Well, in May Eric Garcetti pointed out that math is hard and after a bunch of frantic recalculations as reported in the Times here everyone, Garcetti’s office and LAHSA in the person of E.D. Peter Lynn, settled on a revised figure of about a 5% increase in the City.
We have written before about LAHSA Commissioner and BID boss lady Kerry Morrison’s difficulties with statistical analysis, at least when it comes to counting the homeless population of the two BIDs she bosses. There was this little gem, where depending on how one looked at her chart the figure under discussion varied from about 25% to about 145%. And then just the other day she was seen waving about bar graphs and making wild claims about how many new homeless people would be attracted to her BID if Ted Landreth had his way with the Salvation Army. What these two incidents had in common was that they overcounted the homeless population of the BIDs. And this is not unexpected, since Kerry Morrison uses statistics for propaganda purposes only, and it is in her interest, the interest of her zillionaire masters, to overcount whenever possible, as it amplifies the hysterical atmosphere in which these BIDdies thrive.
But we had hitherto assumed that in her role as public servant she’d bring her best game to bear. If not out of a sense of service and public obligation, then at least out of caution given the level of scrutiny that attaches to LAHSA Commissioners over and above that to which BID bosses are subjected. But, according to a report in this morning’s LA Times, this is evidently not the case. It turns out that the Times and Eric Garcetti found some basic errors in LAHSA’s analysis of its 2016 homeless count. These led LAHSA to greatly overestimate the increase in the County’s homeless population. Of course, overestimates are good for LAHSA, just as they are for the BID. The more homeless people there are, the more money LAHSA gets.1Continue reading It Turns Out that LAHSA is Statistically Challenged When it Comes to Counting the Homeless, Not Just LAHSA Commissioner Kerry Morrison. Even Eric Garcetti, LA’s Technocrat, Can’t Count→
According to LAHSA executive director Peter Lynn, quoted in a January 2015 press release: The 2015 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count is a critical opportunity to gain information about the size and scope of the challenge we face to house community residents experiencing homelessness. We use this information to better target our homeless service resources. Volunteers will make a difference in their community, and the lives of their homeless neighbors, by committing four hours of their time.