The decade's most triggering comedy
The homeless crisis in Los Angeles is only getting worse.
Homelessness is up 10% in Los Angeles, according to the 2023 greater Los Angeles homeless count results, which were released on Thursday. In the broader area of Los Angeles County, homelessness is up 9%.
Los Angeles County’s homeless population rose to about 75,518 people, up from 69,144 in 2022, according to the count, which was conducted by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.
In the city of Los Angeles itself, the number of homeless people jumped to about 46,260 people, up from 41,980 people in 2022. That’s nearly the size of the student body of the University of California, Los Angeles, which has just under 48,000 total students.
While the jump in numbers was slightly less dramatic than in previous years, the homeless population is still growing at a steady pace.
“The homeless count results tell us what we already know — that we have a crisis on our streets, and it’s getting worse,” said Dr. Va Lecia Adams Kellum, chief executive officer of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.
Kellum said that “for the first time,” the city, county, and homeless services authority are “moving with urgency” to house people.
“These results are disappointing,” Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Janice Hahn said in a statement. “It is frustrating to have more people fall into homelessness even as we are investing hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars and resources into efforts to bring people inside. I appreciate the cities that have stepped up and supported solutions, but these numbers prove that solutions-oriented cities are too few and far between.”
Los Angeles is not the only major city to see a spike in its homeless population lately, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority said.
Chicago saw a 57% increase, and Portland saw a 20% increase, the homeless services authority said. Meanwhile, other areas in California have also seen homelessness worsen. San Diego saw a 22% increase, San Bernardino saw a 26% increase, Riverside saw a 12% increase, and Kern saw a 22% increase.
This year’s Los Angeles homeless count was conducted from January 24 to 26. The county has conducted the count since 2016.
The county tried to improve the accuracy of the count this year including by using a new counting app and hiring a demographer and two data scientists.
Last year, Los Angeles officials challenged the accuracy of the 2022 homeless count after it found zero homeless people in the Venice Beach area, an area known for its homeless problem and sometimes called the “ground zero” of homelessness.
The 2022 count appeared to suffer from irregularities that included a dramatic drop from 509 homeless people to zero in the Venice Beach area.
Two Los Angeles city councilmembers also challenged the 2022 count because they were skeptical of the count showing an increase in homelessness in their districts.
Mayor Karen Bass has said that at least 14,000 homeless people have moved from the streets of Los Angeles to interim or permanent housing under her administration, but she acknowledged that this year’s homeless count reinforces that more work needs to be done to house the city’s homeless, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority said.