In a presentation to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority released the results of the 2019 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count, which showed 58,936 people in Los Angeles County experiencing homelessness, representing a 12% rise from last year’s point-in-time count of 52,765. The city of Los Angeles saw a 16% rise to 36,300.
Two years into the 10-year investments from Measure H, LA County’s homeless services system has doubled the number of people moving from homelessness into housing over the course of each year, and tripled prevention, outreach, and engagement.
The homeless crisis response system helped 21,631 people move into permanent housing over the course of last year—40 percent of last year’s Count number, and a number that would end homelessness in most American cities and even states. Ninety-two percent of the people placed in permanent housing through our system in 2016 and 2017 stayed housed through the end of 2018 and did not return to homelessness.
Yet as thousands of people were permanently housed, thousands more fell into homelessness due to economic forces and the interlocking systems of foster care, mental health, criminal justice, and the housing market, outpacing the results.
This year’s Count revealed that 23% of the unsheltered people experiencing homelessness—more than 9,200 people—were homeless for the first time last year. The majority (53%) cited economic hardship as the cause.
The Count revealed that widely coordinated efforts to assist veterans had resulted in a small decrease in that population (from 3,886 to 3,874 ), a positive development given the overall rise. And Black/African-American people, who constitute 8.3% of the overall county population, continue to be overrepresented among people experiencing homelessness at 33%—though that figure has decreased slightly from its 2018 level of 35%.Jill Cowan at NYT:
In Alameda County, the number of homeless residents jumped 43 percent over the past two years. In Orange County, that number was 42 percent. Kern County volunteers surveying the region’s homeless population found a 50 percent increase over 2018. San Francisco notched a 17 percent increase since 2017.Madeline Holcombe at CNN:
Nationally, homelessness has been trending downward over the last decade, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness. But this year's results, so far, offer a mixed bag.
For example, Seattle and King County, Washington, saw a decrease in homelessness for the first time in seven years with an 8% drop, according to a report by the organization All Home.
New York City said the number of unsheltered people -- those sleeping on the street, and in parks, subways and other public places -- declined by 2% from last year. In Indianapolis, the total number of people experiencing homelessness is down 7%, according to Indiana University's Public Policy Institute.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, said the number of people living on the street, in shelters and in transitional housing climbed 8%, and Austin, Texas, reported a 5% increase in the total number of people experiencing homelessness, according to Ending Community Homelessness Coalition.