The total number of homeless people in Los Angeles County has skyrocketed over the last few years, reaching a staggering new total of over 69,000.
Fox News reports that the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), which released its updated report on Thursday, found an increase of 4.1 percent since 2020. In the entirety of the county, approximately 69,144 people are now homeless; in just the city of Los Angeles alone, there are 41,980 homeless people.
The new report was the first official count of the homeless population since 2020, as efforts were delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. But the pandemic also had a massive impact on the homeless population itself; in 2020, there was a stunning 12 percent increase in the homeless population across the county, with the city of Los Angeles seeing a 14 percent increase in the same span of time. In 2019, there were roughly 59,000 homeless people located in the county.
However, LAHSA added that the results of the report seem to suggest that, despite the homeless population increasing overall, it is rising at a slower rate than past years. The report also claimed that there are more tents and other makeshift shelters for homeless people, but with fewer occupants in them.
“While it is too soon to know what this year’s count results will mean long-term, the numbers are suggesting there is a flattening of the curve that is driven by the necessary and effective economic programs that helped keep people in their homes throughout the pandemic,” said Kristina Dixon, Acting Co-Executive Director at LAHSA.