Los Angeles County homeless population spikes to over 75,000

"...we have a crisis on our streets, and it’s getting worse.” 

Ari Hoffman Seattle WA
Homelessness has increased by ten percent in the city of Los Angeles, and it has increased in Los Angeles County by nine percent. 

According to the 2023 Greater Los Angeles homeless count results conducted by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), Los Angeles County’s homeless population increased to approximately 75,518, an increase from 69,144 in 2022. In the City of Angels, the number of homeless people increased to approximately 46,260 people, an increase from 41,980 people in 2022.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that California holds half of all “unsheltered people” in the US.

Dr. Va Lecia Adams Kellum, chief executive officer of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, said, “The homeless count results tell us what we already know, that we have a crisis on our streets, and it’s getting worse.” 

Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Janice Hahn called the results “disappointing,” writing 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.”

Los Angeles officials challenged the accuracy of the 2022 LAHSA count that reported finding zero homeless people in Venice Beach, an area known for its massive homeless problem. As a result, the county used a new counting app and hired a demographer and two data scientists.

Though Democratic Mayor Karen Bass has claimed at least 14,000 homeless people have been moved into interim or permanent housing under her administration, it was revealed earlier this year that the city was spending over $800,000 per housing unit.

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority made a point of emphasizing that Los Angeles is not the only major US city to see an increase in its homeless population, noting that Chicago saw a 57 percent increase and Portland saw a 20 percent hike. According to the agency, in California, Kern County saw a 22 percent increase, San Bernardino County a 26 percent increase, San Diego County a 22 percent increase, and Riverside County a 12 percent increase.

Earlier this month, San Diego and Portland approved homeless camping bans.
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