According to the latest annual point-in-time count published by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, the number of homeless individuals in Los Angeles County, California has exceeded 75,000, indicating a nearly 10% rise in the homeless population compared to 2022. The report revealed that 75,518 individuals within the county were residing in cars, tents, improvised shelters, or temporary accommodations.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the previous year saw a recorded total of 69,144 individuals living in similar circumstances.
Since the 2015 count, there has been a significant surge of 70% in the county and an 80% increase specifically within Los Angeles.
A representative for Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who is currently campaigning for a Senate seat in the state, directed the Washington Examiner to a newly proposed bill called the Housing Navigators Act, which Schiff introduced on Wednesday.
As stated in a press release, the proposed legislation aims to establish a fresh initiative within the Office of Housing Counseling of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This initiative would offer counseling services and housing placement opportunities for individuals experiencing homelessness.
Additionally, the bill seeks to allocate an additional $50 million in funding to support this program. States, local governments, and housing non-profit organizations could potentially qualify to receive a portion of this funding under the provisions of the bill.
Va Lecia Adams Kellum, the Chief Executive of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, described the information as disappointing, yet not unexpected.
“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," she told reporters during a briefing.
“There’s much more needed to right the ship,” she added.
The count revealed that Black individuals experiencing homelessness constituted a disproportionate 31%, while Latinos accounted for approximately 43%. Moreover, a quarter of the homeless population in the county are grappling with mental illnesses, and an additional 30% reported struggling with substance use disorders.