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Los Angeles County homeless count data shows minuscule drop in homelessness, but more people with shelter

Similar to Long Beach’s latest numbers, officials say they’re glad to see progress but know there’s more work to do.

Los Angeles County homeless count data shows minuscule drop in homelessness, but more people with shelter
Two unhoused people lay on the sidewalk in Downtown Long Beach Monday, March 25, 2024. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

Los Angeles County’s unhoused population has dropped by less than 1% since 2023, but the number of unsheltered homeless is down by more than 5%, and county officials say the numbers are finally moving in the right direction.

The total of 75,312 unhoused people was a decrease of just over 200 people compared with last year, according to data the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) made public Friday.

Va Lecia Adams Kellum, LAHSA’s CEO, called the data encouraging, especially the smaller number of unsheltered homeless, which suggests more people are accepting help and temporary housing.

The decrease is “quite meaningful after years, six years in fact, of increases in homelessness,” Kellum said, adding that “evidence suggests that our aligned approach and coordinated efforts to address unsheltered street homelessness are having an impact.”

Those sentiments echoed what Long Beach officials said on releasing their homeless count numbers in May. Long Beach reported a 2.1% drop in people without permanent housing since 2023 – a year-over-year difference of about 71 people.

But officials in both Long Beach and Los Angeles County acknowledge their work is ongoing and must include regional collaboration and building more housing. Kellum said LAHSA’s 2023 data showed for every 100 unhoused people who find a permanent place to live, 120 people become homeless.

Alicia Robinson has been on strike from the Long Beach Post since March 21, yet she’s still covering the city without pay. Thank her for her work.
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