Texas as a whole last year recorded a 28% drop in homelessness since 2012, while California’s homeless population grew by 43% over the same period. In Texas, 81 people are homeless for every 100,000 residents. In California, the rate is more than five times worse.
And that’s despite the fact that Texas spends far fewer state dollars on homelessness. Last year, not counting federal money, Texas put $19.7 million into its three main homelessness programs – equal to about $806 per unhoused person. California, on the other hand, poured $1.85 billion into its three main programs – or $10,786 for every unhoused person.
How do residents view homelessness in each state? The difference is stark: Homelessness is the No. 1 issue on California voters’ minds, according to a recent Quinnipiac University poll. In a 2020 poll of Texas residents, it didn’t even crack the top 10.
The 2023 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count results were released today, showing a 9% rise in homelessness on any given night in Los Angeles County to an estimated 75,518 people and a 10% rise in the City of Los Angeles to an estimated 46,260 people. While this year’s increases are slightly lower than previous year-over-year increases in the homeless count, they continue a steady growth trend of people experiencing homelessness in the annual Point-in-Time Count (PIT Count).
The rise in LA County’s homeless population coincides with increases in major cities across the United States. Chicago and Portland saw double-digit increases (+57% and +20% respectively), while several Southern California counties experienced increases larger than Los Angeles, including San Bernadino (+26%), San Diego (+22%), Kern (+22%), and Riverside (+12%).
While the number of unhoused people in interim housing held steady at 20,363, the rise in the number of people experiencing unsheltered homelessness coincided with the overall increase in the PIT Count.