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June 28, 2024 | July 02, 2024 | 3,822 total views

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Media Contacts:  
Christopher Yee, cyee@lahsa.org

 

UNSHELTERED HOMELESSNESS DROPS AND SHELTERED HOMELESSNESS RISES IN CITY AND COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

LAHSA CEO cautiously optimistic that unified approach provides opportunity to continue reducing unsheltered homelessness. 

 

Los Angeles, CA – Today, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) announced the results of the 2024 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count. Los Angeles County’s Point-in-Time estimate declined by 0.27% to 75,312, while the City of Los Angeles’ Point-in-Time estimate declined by 2.2% to 45,252.

The estimate for unsheltered homelessness in the County of Los Angeles decreased by approximately 5.1% to 52,365 compared with last year, while the shelter count increased by 12.7% to 22,947. The City of Los Angeles saw its unsheltered homelessness estimate decline to 29,275 or 10.4%, while the City’s shelter count increased by 15,977 or 17.7%.

“This year’s Homeless Count results give me hope because they show that our unified approach and coordinated efforts have led to meaningful decreases in unsheltered homelessness,” said Dr. Va Lecia Adams Kellum, Chief Executive Officer of LAHSA. “One year is not enough to say we have turned the corner, but the numbers we are seeing are very encouraging. We must continue to work in collaboration on the life-saving efforts that are contributing to positive results.” 

This year’s Homeless Count data suggests that unprecedented coordination among LAHSA and all levels of government on the homelessness crisis is reducing unsheltered homelessness.

“This year’s Homeless Count shows that we are finally moving in the right direction. Our coordinated emergency response to end our homelessness crisis is beginning to show improvement,” said Lindsey P. Horvath, Chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the LAHSA Commission. “These results are validation, not victory. We must continue to move with urgency across all levels of government and in every community in Los Angeles County to bring our unhoused neighbors inside. For more meaningful progress, we must strengthen tenant protections and programs to keep people housed. We must also create the permanent, supportive, affordable housing that so many vulnerable Angelenos desperately need. We know what to do and we have no time to waste.”

In addition, people are moving through LAHSA’s rehousing system faster, according to LAHSA’s Key Performance Indicators: from 2022-2023, year over year, street to interim housing placements through outreach increased by 47% and the number of people moving from interim housing to permanent housing increased by 25%.

“For so many years, the count has shown increases in homelessness, and we have all felt that in our neighborhoods. But we leaned into change. And we have changed the trajectory of this crisis and have moved L.A. in a new direction,” said Mayor Karen Bass. “There is nothing we cannot do by taking on the status quo, putting politics aside, and rolling up our sleeves to work together. I want to thank the City Council, the County Board of Supervisors, LAHSA, our state, federal and community partners and our service provider partners for locking arms to confront this crisis with the urgency that it requires. This is not the end, it is the beginning – and we will build on this progress, together.”

Across the County, permanent housing placements are up 18% to an all-time high of 27,300 in 2023, bringing the total over the last seven years to more than 110,000.

While this year’s Homeless Count estimates bring hopeful news, officials cautioned that homelessness persists at unacceptable levels, and the same root causes of homelessness continue to exist throughout Los Angeles County, with economics leading the way.

LAHSA cited the results of the annual homeless count demographic survey completed in partnership with the University of Southern California (USC). This year’s survey found that a majority (54%) of people who became homeless in the last year cited economic hardship as one of the main reasons they lost their home.

The California Housing Partnership’s 2024 Housing Needs Report for Los Angeles County stated that nearly 500,000 households do not have access to affordable housing. The report goes on to state that LA County renters need to earn $48.04 per hour, or 2.9 times the City of LA’s minimum wage, to afford the $2,498 average rent of a two-bedroom home.

“While today’s announcement is welcoming news, the data tells us that we cannot rest,” said Dr. Adams Kellum. “We must continue to lock arms and work together on the solutions we know will bring more of our unsheltered neighbors inside and more of our sheltered neighbors home. We must also continue to innovate and focus our efforts on the things that the data tells us are working if we are going to end this crisis.”

The new LAHSA is making the shifts necessary to improve the rehousing system with a commitment to innovation and change. One important innovation that will help us bring more people home is Master Leasing. LAHSA is leasing entire buildings, which allows us to fully occupy buildings with people in just 3-5 days, compared to the past average of 120 days to get to full occupancy.

Another change is that LAHSA’s work on the streets focuses on the most vulnerable people who are already connected with the rehousing system, are document-ready, and live in the same region as the new buildings that are close to opening.

LAHSA wants to better capture and track its data so it can determine which interventions are working. In fact, today, LAHSA will begin publishing online dashboards where everyone can follow the rehousing system’s progress. LAHSA is committed to transparency and a data-driven process and looks forward to seeing the benefits of this approach.

While officials were cautiously optimistic about the results, they noted that one year of numbers moving in the right direction is not enough to say the LA region has turned a corner in addressing homelessness.

“The most promising data from the count was the result of activities and interventions that all levels of government pursued together,” said Dr. Adams Kellum. “This really gives us hope that together we can end this crisis.”