Los Angeles

LA Area Homelessness Second Worst in Nation, Report Says

Los Angeles has the second largest population of people exploring homelessness, according to a new report.

The LA area contains 55,200 homeless people, according to data released by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute.

New York has the largest population of homeless at 76,500 and the Bay Area is closely behind LA with 28,200.

Los Angeles has about 54 homeless people for every 10,000 residents and provides shelter to about 25 percent of them, the report states.

Without shelter, homeless people are more likely to be exposed to diseases, posing health and safety risks for them as well as residents who live in nearby areas.

In 2018, “epidemic levels” of typhus, a disease transmitted by fleas, swept through homeless camps surrounding Los Angeles over the summer and fall of 2018.

At least nine of the typhus cases that broke out last year in Los Angeles County were among the homeless people, according to health officials. 

Out of Los Angeles’ 55,200 homeless, 30% of them are chronically homeless, 9% are unaccompanied youth, 15% are homeless with families and 8% are homeless veterans, according to the report.

In 2018, State Senator Scott Wiener introduced Senate Bill 1045 to allow counties the flexibility to place chronically homeless individuals suffering from mental illness and substance abuse into a conservatorship for the purpose of providing the least restrictive and most clinically appropriate alternative needed for the protection of the person.

The bill was signed into law by then-Governor Jerry Brown. It was eventually limited to offering only San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego counties a five-year window to pilot changes to conservatorship laws, including stabilizing individuals with severe illness and addiction through one-year conservatorships.

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