LOS ANGELES - Homelessness in the city and county of Los Angeles rose by 12 percent according to a report released by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA). Last week, the agency presented its findings to the City Council's committee on Homelessness and Poverty as LA moves to address the issue.
According to the report, there are 44,359 homeless persons in LA County, a 12 percent increase since 2013's total population of 39,461. In the city of LA, homelessness is up from 22,993 individuals in 2013 to 25,686 individuals reported in 2015. Despite the increase in the general population, the number of homeless veterans has remained essentially flat since 2013. Meanwhile, Council District 2 saw a decrease in homeless persons since 2013, from 1024 individuals to 607.
LAHSA attributed the homeless growth to California's slow economic recovery, as one of the hardest hit states during the economic recession, suffering from high unemployment and job losses. The working poor and low-income individuals were particularly affected by unemployment, low wages and a lack of affordable housing, it added.
The reports findings are based on LAHSA's biennial Homeless Count, the largest point-in-time snapshot of the region's homeless demographic. The 2015 survey was completed in January with the help of 5,500 volunteers. For more information about the report, visit www.lahsa.org.