4 in 10 voters say LA homelessness makes them feel unsafe; many consider moving: Poll

Nearly 40% of Los Angeles voters said that homeless people in their neighborhoods have made them feel unsafe, and one in five said they considered moving because of homelessness, according to the results of a new poll released Thursday by the Los Angeles Times. Respondents said homelessness was the most serious issue facing Los Angeles County

The poll, organized by the LA Times and the Los Angeles Business Council Institute, surveyed more than 900 voters in the area, many of whom cited human waste in the streets and concern for their children, according to the Times.

The homelessness crisis topped the list of most serious problems, edging out rising housing prices and traffic. Nearly 80% of those surveyed said homelessness is a "serious" or "very serious" issue. 

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According to the latest count from Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), there are more than 12,000 adults in homeless shelters in the city of Los Angeles and more than 17,000 adults sheltered throughout the Los Angeles Continuum of Care (which is LA County excluding Pasadena, Glendale, and Long Beach). While the full 2021 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count was canceled due to COVID-19, homelessness in LA County has increased by nearly 42% between 2016 and 2020.

Nearly 40% of the voters surveyed also said that homelessness has affected them either directly or indirectly. When asked about the root causes of the issue, however, more than a third of voters cited low wages and the lack of affordable housing.

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