Climate of Homelessness
Heartbreaking images of L.A.’s homelessness crisis can be seen everywhere: tents in the Arroyo, sleeping bags on the beach, RVs parked on our boulevards. Homelessness in Los Angeles has reached epic proportions, with over 69,000 people homeless every night.
This crisis is not surprising given that Los Angeles is the most unaffordable metropolitan area in America. When adjusted for housing costs, L.A. County’s poverty rate is 26.9% – the highest in the nation. With 289,144 people living at below half the poverty line and spending at least 90% of their income on rent, Los Angeles has become a city filled with precariously housed individuals and families who could easily join the legions of already homeless. Unfortunately, our homeless crisis is likely to worsen, as we anticipate less federal funding for affordable housing and homeless services as well as decreased federal enforcement of housing discrimination laws.
The good news is that we know what it takes to end homelessness. We know that raising incomes and creating more affordable housing ends homelessness. We know that providing rent subsidies, legal assistance, and social workers to families facing eviction ends homelessness. We know that permanent supportive housing for most chronic cases ends homelessness.
Homelessness is not inevitable. We know how to dramatically decrease the number of people living and dying on our streets. The time has come to embrace these solutions and bring them to scale.
You can help by educating yourself, your neighbors, your colleagues, and your family about homelessness in Los Angeles – and what you can do about it.
Here are some of the facts:
Total homeless population in Los Angeles County
Sheltered on any given night.
62% increase in sheltered beds since 2019.
Permanent housing placements.
16% increase over the past 5 years.
People who are sheltered
People who remain unsheltered
Of our unhoused neighbors do not report experiencing serious mental illness or substance abuse
Angelenos kept from falling into homelessness.
Black and Homeless
Black people make up 9% of Los Angeles County’s population
Latino and Homeless
Latinos make up 49.1% of Los Angeles County’s population