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 66,000 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
Shelter capacity on any given night.
57% increase over the last 3 years.
Permanent housing options to Angelenos.
16% increase over the last 3 years
People who experienced homelessness in 2020 and moved back into housing.
Angelenos kept from falling into homelessness.
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