According to the annual census by the Los Angeles Service Authority, the homeless population in Los Angeles County has risen 12 percent in the past year to 58,936 people. While in the city limits 36,300 people had experience homelessness in 2018. The increase comes despite a stated concerted effort by local officials to move more people into permanent housing.
“Skyrocketing rents statewide and federal disinvestment in affordable housing, combined with an epidemic of untreated trauma and mental illness, is pushing people into homelessness faster than they can be lifted out,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said to Reuters.
The authority also found that 33 percent of the homeless population in the county were Black, despite only accounting for slightly more than 8 percent of the population, which is down from the overrepresentation in last year's count which had the Black community at 35 percent of the homeless population.
“While we did better, it’s not good enough." Garcetti said in a statement, "That’s why we’re putting more resources than ever into meeting the urgency of the moment. We cannot let a set of difficult numbers discourage us, or weaken our resolve."
The Homeless Service Authority's numbers are not entirely bad, as the group is proud the after the implementation of Measure H in 2016 the homeless crisis response system helped over 21,000 people find permanent housing, a number they said would end homelessness in most cities, who all kept the housing through the end of 2018.
"Our ability to reach, serve, and house people experiencing homelessness has risen enormously since voters made unprecedented investments in our homeless services system in 2016 and 2017,” said Peter Lynn, executive director of The LAHSA in a statement. "It’s critical that we work with local community members and every level of government to increase affordable housing, limit rent increases, and prevent unjust evictions while we continue to scale up and refine our system.”