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Homelessness in Los Angeles County

According to the Institute for the Study of Homelessness and Poverty at the Weingart Center, an estimated 254,000 men, women and children experience homelessness in Los Angeles County during some part of the year and approximately 82,000 people are homeless on any given night. Unaccompanied youth, especially in the Hollywood area, are estimated to make up from 4,800 to 10,000 of these.

Although homeless people may be found throughout the county, the largest percentages are in South Los Angeles and Metro Los Angeles.  Most are from the Los Angeles area and stay in or near the communities from which they came. About 14 to 18 percent of homeless adults in Los Angeles County are not U.S. citizens compared with 29% of adults overall. A high percentage - as high as 20 percent - are veterans. African Americans make up approximately half of the Los Angeles County homeless population - disproportionately high compared to the percentage of African Americans in the county overall (about 9 percent).

Other Facts About the Homeless Population in Los Angeles:

  • The average age is 40 - women tend to be younger.

  • 33% to 50% are female.  Men make up about 75% of the single population.

  • About 42% to 77% do not receive public benefits to which they are entitled.

  • 20% to 43% are in families, typically headed by a single mother.

  • An estimated 20% are physically disabled.

  • 41% of adults were employed within last year.

  • 16% to 20% of adults are employed.

  • About 25% are mentally ill.

  • As children, 27% lived in foster care or group homes; 25% were physically or sexually abused

  • 33%-66% of single individuals have substance abuse issues.

  • 48% graduated from high school; 32% had a bachelor degree or higher (as compared to 45% and 25% for the population overall respectively).

Race General Population Homeless Population
Latino 47% 33%
White 30% 14%
African American 9% 50%
Asian/Pacific Islander 12% 2%
Other 2% Less than 1%

Source: Institute for the Study of Homelessness & Poverty at the Weingart Center


Homeless Population Counts by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority

Since 2005 the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, an agency of the City of Los Angeles, has
conducted numerical and demographic counts of homelessness not only within the city of Los Angeles,
but throughout Los Angeles County. Over the course of three days in January, this count was
conducted with the help of more than 4,000 volunteers branching out throughout Los Angeles County.

Homeless Population Counts in Los Angeles County
City of Los Angeles & County Overall


2009 2011

City of Los Angeles

25,771 23,539

Los Angeles County (all communities)

52,931 51,240

Homeless Population Counts in Los Angeles County
By Service Planning Areas

Count by Service Planning Areas

2009 2011

Antelope Valley (SPA 1)

2,869 1,412

San Fernando Valley (SPA 2)

3,753 4,727

San Gabriel Valley (SPA 3)

3,269 3,918

Metro Los Angeles (SPA 4)

11,381 11,571

West Los Angeles (SPA 5)

5,700 3,512

South Los Angeles (SPA 6)

10,587 8,735

East Los Angeles (SPA 7)

4,949 4,759

South Bay/Harbor (SPA 8)

4,497 6,788

2011 Ethnic Percentages

City of Los Angeles All of County of Los Angeles

African American

49.3% 43.7%


24.4% 27.7%


22.3% 24.9%

Asian/Pacific Islander

2.7% 2.3%

American Indian & Alaska Native

1.3% 1.4%

In 2011, 34 percent of homeless persons in Los Angeles County suffered from substance abuse,
33 percent suffered from some degree of mental illness and 22 percent suffered from physical
.  Of course, some homeless person suffered from two or three of these disabling

In 2011, 266 unaccompanied homeless youths under age 18 were counted in Los Angeles County.

In 2011, about 18 percent of homeless persons in Los Angeles County were veterans.

Source: Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority


Also see:

Shelter Partnership, Inc



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