The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority has released discouraging figures showing another increase in the number of people living on the streets.
Homelessness in Los Angeles County rose 9% in January, according to the annual point-in-time survey. The city of Los Angeles saw a 10% increase.
"This year we estimate that 75,518 people experience homelessness on any given night in LA County and 46,260 people in LA City,” LAHSA said. That represents a staggering 70% increase since 2015.
The growth consisted almost entirely of people living outdoors, rather than those receiving temporary shelter. Increases were largely concentrated in West L.A. and the Harbor Region. Chronic homelessness rose 18%.
The disappointing data came despite over a billion dollars in spending, as well as public policies to minimize evictions and increase the housing supply.
“The results are definitely disappointing with all the hard work and all the investment, but they’re not surprising,” LAHSA Chief Executive Va Lecia Adams Kellum said in a briefing. “We thought with last year’s numbers that we were flattening the curve. However, what we see in this trajectory is that people remain in a situation of vulnerability where they’re falling into homelessness faster than we can house them.”
LAHSA cited economic factors, particularly high rent, as the primary cause. A quarter of homeless respondents self-reported a struggle with mental illness.