Saturday, May 25, 2024

L.A. Homeless Count Climbs by 10 Percent

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Despite a massive expense of public funding earmarked to ameliorate the crisis of homelessness in Los Angeles, the number of people experiencing homelessness on any given night in L.A. shot up by 10 percent, according to numbers released by county officials Thursday morning.

The results of the 2023 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count results, a point-in-time count conducted in January, show a nine percent jump in homelessness in L.A. County and a ten percent rise in the City of L.A. In absolute terms, the number of homeless people in L.A. County rose to an estimated 75,518 people, while the homeless population in L.A. City jumped to 46,260 people.

News of the disappointing results of the annual count arrived as Mayor Karen Bass and other top city and county officials are lining up hundreds of millions of more taxpayer dollars to tackle the crisis. Over the past several years, voters in L.A. have approved billions of dollars in taxes to build housing and provide services for homeless people.

Much of the rise for both the county and city homeless populations was attributed to people without shelter who bed down in the street on any given night, which increased by 14 percent. Another red flag was that the population deemed chronically homeless, meaning people who have lived on the streets for 12 months or more, increased by 18 percent.

The number of homeless people staying in shelters, a major emphasis of city and county leaders as the price tag for permanent housing grew and the delays multiplied, was roughly the same as last year.

Since 2018, the runaway homeless population staying in the streets and shelters of the county and city of L.A. has risen by an estimated 40 percent.

Geographically, the main drivers of the area’s spike in homelessness were the Westside & Harbor areas, where the number of homeless inhabitants leaped by more than 2,000 people, or 45 percent.

“These results are disappointing, L.A. County Board of Supervisors Janice Hahn, who represents the County’s Fourth Supervisorial District, said in a statement. “It is frustrating to have more people fall into homelessness even as we are investing hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars and resources into efforts to bring people inside. I appreciate the cities that have stepped up and supported solutions, but these numbers prove that solutions-oriented cities are too few and far between.”

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