LOS ANGELES—The results from the 2018 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count revealed that the city of Los Angeles has seen a drop in its homeless population.The data shows that homelessness in the city is on the decline for the first time in four years.
In a slide presentation released by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) on Thursday, May 31, the data shows that there are 31,516 homeless people in the city of Los Angeles, a decrease of 5 percent. Los Angeles County has a total of 53,195 homeless individuals, a decrease over 3 percent. The presentation also showed that veteran homelessness by 18 percent to 3,910.
“The numbers from this year’s Homeless Count show real progress, even as we face the real challenges of tomorrow. Because for the first time in nine years, we finally have some good news. Just a few years ago, our approach to homelessness was dysfunctional — with too many government agencies that didn’t see themselves as a single team. But today, everyone is in, and we are pressing relentlessly forward until every Angeleno has a safe place to sleep at night,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti in a statement.
LAHSA contents that there are two reasons for the drop in homelessness this year. “More people are being placed into housing than ever before” the LAHSA indicated in a statement. LAHSA helped place over 16,519 individuals into some form of housing in 2017, a significant increase from previous years.
“Strategies have been developed, more resources deployed, and we’re starting to see results,” the agency said.
Results indicated that over 9,322 people experience homelessness for the first time in 2018 compared to 8,044 individuals in 2017.
Voters overwhelmingly passed two homelessness initiatives to fight the homelessness crisis: Measure H is paying for services that are expected to help 45,000 people out of homelessness; Proposition HHH is estimated to build up to 10,000 units of permanent supportive housing over the next decade. Mayor Garcetti fought to pass an affordable housing linkage fee, which will double the city of Los Angeles production of affordable housing, and is lobbying Governor Edmund Brown to pass a budget that would allocate $1.5 billion to help cities address the emergency needs of their homeless populations.
Written By Candace Buford and Donald Roberts