An estimated 69,144 people are experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles county, the most populous in the US, according to the results of the 2022 Homeless Count released by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA).
The number marks a 4.1 per cent rise from the last count in 2020, said the authority, adding that a count was not conducted in 2021 in the county, home to around 10 million residents, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The results of the point-in-time count, conducted over three nights in February, also showed 41,980 people were experiencing homelessness in the City of Los Angeles, up 1.7 per cent from 2020, reports Xinhua news agency.
The city is the seat of Los Angeles County.
LAHSA said that this year’s homeless count results offer a stark contrast to the results between 2018 and 2020, when Los Angeles County saw a 25.9 per cent increase and the City of Los Angeles experienced a 32 per cent increase.
The authority noted that “Angelenos need more affordable homes and economic help to prevent future increases in homelessness.”
LAHSA said the agency and its partners have made 84,000 permanent housing placements over the past five years.
Thanks to a 62 per cent increase in shelter beds since 2019, more people are in shelter than ever before, said the agency.
“Shelter is a necessary and vital part of our system because bringing people inside protects them from the destructive effects on their health and safety that comes from experiencing unsheltered homelessness,” it added.
Los Angeles has one of the highest rates of unemployment and homelessness in the US, according to usabynumbers.com.
The website reported in June that the total number of homeless people in the US is over 553,000, and that’s 170 out of every 100,000 people homeless in the country right now.