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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 theCity 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
All Los Angeles County & City of Los Angeles

Year All Los Angeles County City of Los Angeles
Total Unsheltered Sheltered Total Unsheltered Sheltered
2005 65,287 53,429 11,858 - - -
2007 52,956 39,168 13,788 - - -
2009 38,602 21,073 16,745 - - -
2011 39,135 20,517 19,176 - - -
2013 39,463 25,136 14,327 22,993 14,968 8,025
2015 44,359 31,018 13,341 25,686 17,687 7,999

Homeless Population Counts in Los Angeles County
By Service Planning Areas

Year Antelope Valley
(SPA 1)
San Fernando Valley
(SPA 2)
San Gabriel Valley
(SPA 3)
Metro LA
(SPA 4)
West LA
(SPA 5)
South LA
(SPA 6)
East LA County
(SPA7 )
South Bay/
Harbor
(SPA 8)
2005 2,404 8,051 7,145 14,041 4,773 11,919- 4,982 5,918
2007 1,238 4,464 6,648 16,109 4,580 7,786 3,806 3,806
2009 1,609 3,312 2,780 10,339 3,738 5,504 2,993 2,401
2011 1,412 3,720 2,499 10,086 3,512 7,541 3,208 2,644
2013 2,113 4,836 2,794 10,472 3,667 7,045 2,429 2,168
2015 2,818 5,216 3,093 11,681 4,276 7,513 3,571 3,006


Map of Los Angeles County Service Planning Areas

2015 Ethnic Percentages City of Los Angeles All of County of Los Angeles
African American 12,188 (47%) 15,887 (39%)
Hispanic/Latino 5,411 (21%) 11,082 (27%)
White/Caucasian 5,567 (22%) 10,306 (25%)
American Indian/Alaska Native 654 (3%) 1,163 (3%)
Asian/Pacific Islander 496 (2%) 657 (2%)
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander 37 (0.1%) 66 (0.2%)
Multi-Racial/Other 1,333 (5%) 2,013 (5%)


2015 Demographic Characteristics City of Los Angeles All of Los Angeles County
Veterans 2,733 (11%) 4,016 (10%)
Chronically Homeless Individuals 8,060 (31%) 12,356 (30%)
Chronically Homeless Family Members 945 (4%) 1,187 (4%)
Substance Abuse 6,255 (24%) 10,388 (25%)
Mental Illness 8,163 (32%) 12,253 (30%)
Persons with HIV/AIDS 546 (2%) 757 (2%)
Domestic Violence Experience 5,458 (21%) 8,801 (21%)
Physical Disability 4,854 (19%) 8,148 (20%)


In the 2015 count in Greater Los Angeles, there were 2,781 unaccompanied, unsheltered homeless youth (under age 18) counted during the daytime; 2,099 estimated during nighttime street counts and 1,277 counted in emergency shelters and transitional housing programswere counted in Los Angeles County.


Source: Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority


Also see: Shelter Partnership, Inc