LOS ANGELES - The 2023 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count results were released Thursday, showing a 9% rise in homelessness on any given night in Los Angeles County and a 10% rise in the City of Los Angeles.
The county's homeless numbers rose to an estimated 75,518 people, while the city's grew to an estimated 46,260 people. While this year’s increases are slightly lower than previous year-over-year increases in the homeless count, they continue a steady growth trend of people experiencing homelessness.
"These results are disappointing," Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Janice Hahn said in a statement. "It is frustrating to have more people fall into homelessness even as we are investing hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars and resources into efforts to bring people inside. I appreciate the cities that have stepped up and supported solutions, but these numbers prove that solutions-oriented cities are too few and far between.
The rise in LA County’s homeless population coincides with increases in major cities across the United States, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. Chicago and Portland saw double-digit increases (+57% and +20% respectively), while several Southern California counties experienced increases larger than Los Angeles, including San Bernadino (+26%), San Diego (+22%), Kern (+22%), and Riverside (+12%).
The number of unhoused people in interim housing held steady at 20,363.
"The homeless count results tell us what we already know — that we have a crisis on our streets, and it’s getting worse," said Dr. Va Lecia Adams Kellum, Chief Executive Officer of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA). "The important thing to take away from today is that for the first time, the city, county, and LAHSA are moving with urgency to house the people living on our streets."
The 2023 count occurred between Jan. 24-26 across the county.
The agency took several steps to improve this year's count, including implementing a new counting app, hiring a demographer and two data scientists, simplifying volunteer training and adding accountability measures.
- California homeless crisis: High housing costs and low income driving factors, study shows
- California homeless make up nearly one-third of US homeless population, new report shows
LAHSA CEO Va Lecia Adama Kellus is expected to introduce its new Emergency Response Team initiative, which is aimed to work in tandem with efforts like Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass' Inside Safe to bring people inside quickly and connect them with permanent housing.
Volunteers worked in groups of four to count the number of unsheltered individuals, tents, vehicles and makeshift shelters in their census tract.
In January, LAHSA officials stated that the one-time federal pandemic assistance programs ending could lead to more housing insecurity and fewer resources for reshousing systems to respond.
LAHSA officials previously stated that for the 2023 count, they would deploy make-up count teams to make sure every census tract is counted, and consider tracts that do not have data to be uncounted.
The 2022 homeless count revealed 41,980 unhoused people in Los Angeles, up 1.7% from 2020. In the county, there were 69,144 unhoused people, an increase of 4.1%.
The count began in 2016 to provide the county with analysis and trends of people experiencing homelessness.
CNS contributed to this report.