July 24, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

LAHSA Reports Decline in Los Angeles Homelessness in 2024

Decreases in Unsheltered Populations, Shelter Numbers Go Up

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) announced the results of the 2024 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count, revealing a slight decline in homelessness. Los Angeles County’s Point-in-Time estimate decreased by 0.27% to 75,312, while the City of Los Angeles saw a 2.2% decline to 45,252.

The county’s estimate for unsheltered homelessness dropped by 5.1% to 52,365, and the shelter count increased by 12.7% to 22,947. In the city, unsheltered homelessness fell by 10.4% to 29,275, while the shelter count rose by 17.7% to 15,977.

According to the press release from the city of Santa Monica, “LAHSA’s annual Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count found that the number of people experiencing homelessness in Service Planning Area 5 — Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Culver City, Ladera, Malibu, Mar Vista, Marina del Rey, Pacific Palisades, Palms, Playa del Rey, Santa Monica, Venice, West LA, Westchester, and Westwood — was 5,383 in 2024, down from 6,669 in 2023.”

LAHSA breaks down Santa Monica’s count as follows: 

  • People physically counted outdoors (including at city beaches): 479 
  • People recorded in shelters (including at the city’s shelter, SAMOSHEL): 173 
  • Cars, vans, and RVs counted: 61
  • Tents counted: 21 
  • Other makeshift shelters counted 40

This is the first year that the city of Santa Monica’s count has been part of the overall city of Los Angeles count. Previously, Santa Monica conducted its own count. 

Beverly Hills has 25 unsheltered homeless people, up two from the count in 2023.

Culver City has 38 sheltered homeless people, with no change from 2023 to 2024, and 58 unsheltered homeless people, down 2 from 2023 for a total of 96 homeless people. 

Malibu has 43 unsheltered homeless people, up 17 from 2023. 

West Hollywood has 67 unsheltered homeless people, down 18 from 2023. 

Dr. Va Lecia Adams Kellum, CEO of LAHSA, expressed optimism about the results. “This year’s Homeless Count results give me hope because they show that our unified approach and coordinated efforts have led to meaningful decreases in unsheltered homelessness,” she said. “We must continue to work in collaboration on the life-saving efforts that are contributing to positive results.”

The data suggests that coordinated efforts among LAHSA and various government levels are effectively reducing unsheltered homelessness. Lindsey P. Horvath, Chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the LAHSA Commission highlighted the importance of continued efforts. “These results are validation, not victory. We must continue to move with urgency across all levels of government and in every community in Los Angeles County to bring our unhoused neighbors inside.”

Key performance indicators showed progress in LAHSA’s rehousing system. From 2022-2023, street-to-interim housing placements through outreach increased by 47%, and the number of people moving from interim housing to permanent housing rose by 25%.

Countywide, permanent housing placements increased by 18% to a record high of 27,300 in 2023, totaling over 110,000 in the past seven years. Despite the encouraging news, officials warned that homelessness remains at unacceptable levels, with economic factors being the primary cause.

LAHSA cited a survey in partnership with the University of Southern California (USC), which found that 54% of people who became homeless in the past year cited economic hardship as a main reason. The California Housing Partnership’s 2024 Housing Needs Report for Los Angeles County stated that nearly 500,000 households lack access to affordable housing. LA County renters need to earn $48.04 per hour, 2.9 times the City of LA’s minimum wage, to afford the average rent of $2,498 for a two-bedroom home.

According to the agency’s press release, LAHSA is making strategic shifts to improve the rehousing system. These include innovations like Master Leasing, which expedites the process of fully occupying buildings with homeless individuals. LAHSA is also focusing on the most vulnerable people already connected to the rehousing system and living near newly available housing.

To enhance transparency, LAHSA will begin publishing online dashboards to track the rehousing system’s progress. Officials remain cautiously optimistic but acknowledge that one year of positive data is not enough to declare a turnaround in the homelessness crisis.

“The most promising data from the count was the result of activities and interventions that all levels of government pursued together,” said Dr. Adams Kellum. “This really gives us hope that together we can end this crisis.”

in News
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