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Homelessness in Los Angeles County
2020

Homeless in Los Angeles County

Los Angeles Almanac Photo.

In Los Angeles County, as of August 12, 2020, 1,278 people experiencing homelessness have been reported as infected with COVID-19, according to the Los Angeles County Dept. of Public Health. Of these, 9 have died. These cases occurred at interim housing, shelters, encampments, and single room units, and at service providers supporting people experiencing homelessness.


On June 12, 2020, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority issued its first release of some 2020 results from the annual homeless count taken earlier in January. The count revealed a 12.7 percent increase in homelessness for Los Angeles County from 2019 to 2020. The city of Los Angeles saw a 14.2 percent increase. Some breakdown data for the city of Los Angeles is still pending release. These additional 2020 data releases will be updated in this page upon release.

According to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, an estimated 82,955 people fell into homelessness during 2019. At the same time, in addition to 22,769 people being placed into housing through the county’s homeless services system, an estimated 52,686 people “self-resolved” out of homelessness. On average, 227 people become homeless every day and 207 are able to exit from homelessness. Among the alarming increases among the homeless is the 20 increase in homeless persons over age 62. Youth, from those under the age of 18 through age 24, make up more than 3,000 of the county's homeless population.

Although homeless people may be found throughout the county, the largest concentrations are in the Metro (Central) Los Angeles region (26%), South Los Angeles region (20%) and in the San Fernando Valley region (14%). Most homeless are from the Los Angeles area and stay in or near the communities from which they came. About 6% are veterans. African Americans make up 34% of Los Angeles County's homeless population – a highly disproportionate number as compared to the percentage of the population of African Americans in Los Angeles County overall (about 8 percent).


Also see: Population in Poverty in Los Angeles County.

Other Facts About the 2020 Homeless Population in Los Angeles County:

  • 12% are under age 18.
  • 32% are female.
  • 20% are in family units (often headed by a single mother}.
  • 17% are physically disabled.
  • 38% are chronically homeless.
  • 24% have substance abuse disorders.
  • 22% suffer from serious mental illness.
  • 29% experienced domestic/intimate partner violence.

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 is conducted with the help of thousands of volunteers branching out throughout Los Angeles County.

Also see Homeless Counts in Los Angeles County by City

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

Numbers for all Los Angeles County communities are included.

Year City of Los Angeles All Los Angeles County
Total Unsheltered Sheltered Total Unsheltered Sheltered
2020 41,290 28,852 12,438 66,436 48,041 18,395
2019 36,300 27,221 8,944 58,936 42,471 13,786
2018 31,285 22,887 8,398 52,765 39,396 13,369
2017 34,189 25,237 8,952 57,794 42,828 14,966
2015 25,686 17,687 7,999 44,359 31,018 13,341
2013 22,993 14,968 8,025 39,463 25,136 14,327
2011 - - - 39,135 20,517 19,176
2009 - - - 38,602 21,073 16,745
2007 - - - 52,956 39,168 13,788
2005 - - - 65,287 53,429 11,858

Homeless Population by Geographic Area
By Service Planning Areas (SPAs)

Numbers include those for Glendale (SPA 2), Long Beach (SPA 8) and Pasadena (SPA 3)

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
(SPA 7)
South Bay/
Harbor
(SPA 8)
2020 4,755 9,277 5,082 17,121 6,009 13,012 4,586 6,594
2019 3,293 7,730 4,489 16,436 5,262 9,543 5,095 4,409
2018 3,203 7,738 4,282 14,218 4,401 8,343 4,569 6,011
2017 4,559 7,459 3,552 15,393 5,511 9,243 5,189 4,282
2015 2,818 5,216 3,093 11,681 4,276 7,513 3,571 3,006
2013 2,113 4,836 2,794 10,472 3,667 7,045 2,429 2,168
2011 1,412 3,720 2,499 10,086 3,512 7,541 3,208 2,644
2009 1,609 3,312 2,780 10,339 3,738 5,504 2,993 2,401
2007 1,238 4,464 6,648 16,109 4,580 7,786 3,806 3,806
2005 2,404 8,051 7,145 14,041 4,773 11,919- 4,982 5,918


Map of Los Angeles County Service Planning Areas

Race/Ethnicity of Homeless
Point-in-Time Count, January 2020, 2019, 2018

Race/Ethnic Group City of Los Angeles All of Los Angeles County*
2020 2019 2018 2020 2019 2018
American Indian/Alaska Native 430
(1.0%)
530
(1.5%)
324
(1.0%)
686
(1.1%)
975
(1.7%)
565
(1.1%)
Asian 502
(1.2%)
299
(0.8%)
352
(1.1%)
774
(1.2%)
455
(0.8%)
545
(1.1%)
Black/African American 15,622
(37.8%)
13,629
(37.7%)
12,235
(39.1%)
21,509
(33.8%)
18,719
(33.3%)
17,825
(35.7%)
Hispanic/Latino 13,424
(32.5%)
12,403
(34.3%)
10,813
(34.6%)
23,005
(36.1%)
20,523
(36.5%)
17,540
(35.1%)
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 76
(0.2%)
100
(0.3%)
77
(0.2%)
205
(0.3%)
314
(0.6%)
221
(0.4%)
White 10,293
(24.9%)
8,223
(22.7%)
6,978
(22.3%)
16,208
(25.4%)
13,871
(24.7%)
12,538
(25.1%)
Multi-Racial/Other 943
(2.3%)
981
(2.7%)
506
(1.6%)
1,319
(2.1%)
1,400
(2.5%)
721
(1.4%)

* Accumulated numbers for all Service Planning Areas. These do not include those for Glendale, Long Beach and Pasadena.

Age Group of Homeless
Point-in-Time Count, January 2020, 2019, 2018

Age Group/Percentage City of Los Angeles All of Los Angeles County*
2020 2019 2018 2020 2019 2018
Under 18 4,923
(11.9%)
3,305
(9.1%)
3,022
(9.7%)
7,491
(0.0%)
5,061
(9.0%)
4,731
(9.5%)
18 - 24 2,910
(7.0%)
2,272
(6.3%)
2,052
(6.6%)
4,181
(6.6%)
3,527
(6.3%)
2,955
(5.9%)
25 - 54 23,479
(56.9%)
21,788
(60.1%)
18,446
(59.0%)
37,138
(58.3%)
24,063
(42.8%)
29,571
(59.2%)
55 - 61 5,898
(14.3%)
5,654
(15.6%)
4,755
(15.2%)
8,606
(13.5%)
8,375
(14.9%)
7,871
(15.8%)
62 and Over 4,080
(9.9%)
3,146
(8.7%)
3,010
(9.6%)
6,290
(9.9%)
5,231
(9.3%)
4,827
(9.7%)

* Accumulated numbers for all Service Planning Areas. These do not include those for Glendale, Long Beach and Pasadena.

Other Characteristics of Homeless
Point-in-Time Count, January 2020, 2019, 2018

Characteristic/Percentage City of Los Angeles All of Los Angeles County*
2020 2019 2018 2020 2019 2018
Veterans 2,120
(5.1%)
2,197
(6.1%)
2,048
(6.5%)
3,681
(5.8%)
3,879
(6.9%)
3,886
(7.4%)
Chronically Homeless Individuals 14,896
(36.1%)
10,084
(27.9%)
8,360
(26.7%)
23,075
(36.2%)
15,855
(28.2%)
13,559
(25.7%)
Chronically Homeless Family Members 867
(2.1%)
632
(1.7%)
278
(0.9%)
1,407
(2.2%)
674
(1.2%)
516
(1.0%)
Substance Use Disorder 10,357
(25.1%)
4,888
(2%)
4,738
(15.1%)
15,203
(27.0%)
7,829
(13.9%)
7,117
(13.5%)
Persons with HIV/AIDS 904
(2.2%)
1,221
(3.4%)
588
(1.9%)
1,165
(2.1%)
1,309
(2.3%)
740
(1.4%)
Serious Mental Illness 9,123
(22.1%)
12,869
(35.6%)
7,843
(25.1%)
14,125
(25.1%)
13,675
(24.3%)
12,748
(24.2%)
Physical Disability 6,955
(16.8%)
6,095
(16.9%)
4,391
(14.0%)
10,833
(19.3%)
9,232
(16.4%)
6,756
(12.8%)
Developmental Disability 4,064
(9.8%)
3,089
(8.5%)
1,764
(5.6%)
5,292
(9.4%)
4,370
(7.8%)
2,530
(4.8%)
Domestic Violence Experience 11,622
(28.1%)
12,860
(35.6%)
9,088
(29.0%)
18,345
(32.6%)
20,265
(36.0%)
13,374
(25.3%)
Homeless Due to Fleeing Domestic Violence 2,741
(6.6%)
1,870
(5.2%)
1,913
(6.1%)
3,884
(6.9%)
3,940
(7.0%)
3,076
(5.8%)

Physical Disability, Developmental Disability, and Domestic Violence Experience. Numbers in these categories do not include those for Glendale, Long Beach and Pasadena.
* Accumulated numbers for all Service Planning Areas. These do not include those for Glendale, Long Beach and Pasadena.
† Percentage is prevalence in homeless population age 18 and over.



The 2020 homeless count by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority found, county-wide, 66 unaccompanied homeless minors (under age 18) (66 in 2019; 63 in 2018) of which 44 were unsheltered (45 in 2019; 28 in 2018). Among homeless transitional age youth (age 18-24), 3,029 were unsheltered (2,134 in 2019; 1,577 in 2018) and 1,005 sheltered (1,511 in 2019; 1,521 in 2018).


Homeless Young People
Point-in-Time Count, January 2020, 2019, 2018

Youth Age Group City of Los Angeles All of Los Angeles County*
2020 2019 2018 2020 2019 2018
Transitional Age Youth (18-24): Total 2,083 1,833 1,573 3,029 2,818 2,274
Transitional Age Youth (18-24): Sheltered 613 569 576 1,005 931 864
Transitional Age Youth (18-24): Unsheltered 1,470 1,237 997 2,075 1,887 1,410
Unaccompanied Minors (Under 18): Total 17 54 58 69 66 63
Unaccompanied Minors (Under 18): Sheltered 13 21 31 25 21 35
Unaccompanied Minors (Under 18): Unsheltered 4 33 27 44 45 28

* Numbers do not include those for Glendale, Long Beach and Pasadena.

Homeless in Motor Vehicles**
By Service Planning Areas (SPAs)
Point-in-Time Count, January 2020, 2019, 2018

Service Planning Area 2020 2019 2018
Motor Vehicles People Motor Vehicles People Motor Vehicles People
Antelope Valley
(SPA 1)
950 1,917 731 1,047 706 1,271
San Fernando Valley
(SPA 2)†
1,695 3,171 2,037 3,287 1,895 3,292
San Gabriel Valley
(SPA 3)†
675 1,241 523 964 563 959
Metro LA
(SPA 4)
1,950 3,063 1,579 2,712 1,449 2,474
West LA
(SPA 5)
1,055 1,714 987 1,555 790 1,341
South LA
(SPA 6)
2,606 4,108 2,049 3,330 1,767 3,057
East LA County
(SPA 7)
1,063 1,844 998 1,568 894 1,539
South Bay/
Harbor
(SPA 8)†
1,130 1,846 1,077 2,062 1,053 1,816
Total* 11,124 18,904 9,981 16,525 9,117 15,748

* Numbers do not include those for Glendale (SPA 2), Long Beach (SPA 8) and Pasadena (SPA 3).
** Motor vehicles include cars, vans, motor homes and RVs.

Source: Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority


Also see: Shelter Partnership, Inc. Established in 1985, the organization works throughout Los Angeles County to help bring expertise to develop housing and resources for homeless people.


TAX & BOND REVENUES TO FIGHT HOMELESSNESS:

City of Los Angeles Supportive Housing Proposition (Proposition HHH, $1.2-billion bond, passed November 2016)
County of Los Angeles Homeless Initiative (Measure H, 1/4-cent sales tax increase, passed March 2017).


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.

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