According to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, approximately 50,000 to 60,000 persons may be found homeless on any given night in Los Angeles County. Unaccompanied youth, from minors through age 24, with a heavy concentration in the Hollywood area, are estimated to make up about 6,000 of these.
Although homeless people may be found throughout the county, the largest percentages are in the central Los Angeles area (27%) and in South Los Angeles (16%). Most are from the Los Angeles area and stay in or near the communities from which they came. About 8% are veterans. African Americans make up 40% of Los Angeles County's homeless population - disproportionately high compared to the percentage of African Americans in Los Angeles County overall (about 8 percent).
|Race||General Population||Homeless Population|
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 is conducted with the help of thousands of volunteers branching out throughout Los Angeles County.
|Year||City of Los Angeles||All Los Angeles County|
|San Fernando Valley
|San Gabriel Valley
|East LA County
Percentages in tables that follow are against total homeless population for that specific geographic.
|2017 Ethnic Percentages||City of Los Angeles||All County of Los Angeles*|
|African American||16,080 (47%)||21,921 (40%)|
|American Indian/Alaska Native||325 (1%)||713 (1%)|
|Asian||283 (1%)||607 (1%)|
|Hispanic/Latino||10,422 (30%)||19,391 (35%)|
|Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander||97 (0.3%)||143 (0.3%)|
|White/Caucasian||6,297 (18%)||11,151 (20%)|
|Multi-Racial/Other||684 (2%)||1,262 (2%)|
|2017 Demographic Characteristics||City of Los Angeles||All Los Angeles County|
|Veterans||2,518 (7%)||4,828 (8%)|
|Chronically Homeless Individuals||10,617 (31%)||16,916 (29%)|
|Chronically Homeless Family Members||136 (0.4%)||615 (1%)|
|Substance Abuse Disorder||6,321 (20%)||9,285 (18%)|
|Brain Injury||3,301 (11%)||4,691 (9%)*|
|Persons with HIV/AIDS||897 (3%)||1,160 (2%)|
|Serious Mental Illness||10,617 (31%)||15,728 (30%)|
|Physical Disability||5,894 (19%)||8,829 (16%)*|
|Developmental Disability||2,104 (7%)||3,213 (6%)*|
|Domestic Violence Experience||11,277 (36%)||17,945 (34%)|
* Accumulated numbers for all Service Planning Areas. These do not necessarily equal county-wide totals.
According to the 2017 homeless count by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, there were in Los Angeles County 184 unaccompanied, unsheltered homeless minors (under age 18); 3,969 unsheltered transitional age youth (age 18-24) not in family units; 946 sheltered transitional age youth.
Also see: Shelter Partnership, Inc
Is it less costly to help the homeless get off the street than to leave them there? Weingart Center, in a 2015 interview with Fast Company, proposed that an "investment" of $10,000 can help a homeless person obtain housing, food, job training and ultimately a job, along with support services to acheive that end. On the other hand, leaving a homeless person on the street costs Los Angeles an average of $35,000 each year in medical and emergency services, mental health care, social services and law enforcement. Jailing a homeless person pushes that cost up by a third.