Since 2020, Los Angeles County’s homeless population has grown 4.1% to a total of 69,144 people, according to the 2022 Homeless Count released by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) on Thursday. In the City of Los Angeles, the growth was 1.7%.
Although homelessness is increasing, LAHSA notes the rate of growth has slowed. Between 2018 and 2020, there was a 25.9% increase in the county and a 32% increase in the city. Kristina Dixon, Acting Co-Executive Director at LAHSA, described it as “a flattening of the curve.”
There have been 84,000 permanent housing placements over the past year and 40% of Project Roomkey participants have moved into permanent housing. Since 2018, there has been a 62% increase in shelter beds. This has led to a 12% increase in the county’s sheltered population (20,596 people) since 2020 and a 1.4% decline in the city’s unsheltered homeless population.
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Holly J. Mitchell said the numbers demonstrate the importance of efforts like Project Roomkey.
“It is encouraging to learn that our efforts to confront this crisis have not been in vain, and I know that if we keep doubling down on the historic investments we’ve made, working together and continue to treat every person living on our streets with compassion and humanity we will become a more resilient, fair, and just city,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti.
The report also sheds light on exactly who is ending up on the streets. Black individuals continue to make up a disproportionate share of the unhoused, but Latinos are experiencing a rise in homelessness that outpaces other groups. Latinos now make up 44.5% of the county’s homeless population — a 26% increase since 2020.
LAHSA’s report also underscores the impact of the mental health crisis on homelessness. Around 40% of unhoused individuals report they live with a serious mental illness or substance use disorder.