Los Angeles Almanac Logo
Home | All Almanac Topics | Social Welfare

Homelessness in Los Angeles County

Homeless in Los Angeles County

New 2019 Numbers

According to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, in 2019, approximately 50,000 to 60,000 persons may be found homeless on any given night in Los Angeles County, more than 44,000 of them on the streets. Youth, from minors through age 24, make up 8,915 of the county's homeless population (8,072 in 2018).

Although homeless people may be found throughout the county, the largest concentrations 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 7% are veterans. African Americans make up 34% of Los Angeles County's homeless population - hughly disproportionate to the percentage of African Americans overall in Los Angeles County (about 8 percent).

Other Facts About the 2019 Homeless Population in Los Angeles County:

  • 9% are under age 18.
  • 31% are female.
  • 15% are in family units (often headed by a single mother}.
  • 16% are physically disabled.
  • 28% are chronically homeless.
  • 15% of homeless population have substance abuse disorders.
  • 25% of homeless population suffers from serious mental illness.
  • 7% of homeless population were victims of 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.

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

Year City of Los Angeles All Los Angeles County
Total Unsheltered Sheltered Total Unsheltered Sheltered
2019 36,600 27,221 9,079 58,936 44,214 14,722
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 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)
2019 3,293 7,804 4,479 16,401 5,223 9,629 5,040 4,388
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

Percentages in tables that follow are against total homeless population for that specific geographic.

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

Race/Ethnic Group City of Los Angeles All County of Los Angeles*
2019 2018 2019 2018
American Indian/Alaska Native 530 (1%) 324 (1%) 972 (1%) 565 (1%)
Asian 297 (1%) 352 (1%) 453 (1%) 545 (1%)
Black/African American 13,719 (38%) 12,235 (39%) 18,756 (38%) 17,825 (34%)
Hispanic/Latino 12,442 (36%) 10,813 (35%) 20,504 (341%) 17,540 (33%)
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander 102 (1%) 77 (0.2%) 313 (0.3%) 221 (0.4%)
White 8,228 (25%) 6,978 (22%) 13,860 (23%) 12,538 (24%)
Multi-Racial/Other 982 (2%) 506 (2%) 1,399 (3%) 721 (1%)

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

Age Group/Percentage City of Los Angeles All County of Los Angeles*
2019 2018 2019 2018
Under 18 3,368 (9%) 3,022 (10%) 5,280 (9%) 4,974 (9%)
18 - 24 2,297 (6%) 2,052 (7%) 3,635 (6%) 3,098 (6%)
25 and Over 30,635 (84%) 26,211 (84%) 50,021 (89%) 44,693 (85%)

Demographic Characteristics of Homeless
Point-in-Time Count, January 2018 & 2019

Characteristic/Percentage City of Los Angeles All Los Angeles County***
2019 2018 2019 2018
Veterans 2,221 (7%) 2,048 (7%) 3,879 (7%) 3,886 (7%)
Chronically Homeless Individuals 10,076 (28%) 8,360 (27%) 15,855 (27%) 13,559 (26%)
Chronically Homeless Family Members 406 (1%) 278 (1%) 674 (1%) 516 (1%)
Substance Use Disorder** 4,884 (13%) 4,738 (17%) 7,829 (13%) 7,117 (15%)
Persons with HIV/AIDS** 873 (2%) 588 (2%) 1,309 (2%) 740 (2%)
Serious Mental Illness** 8,796 (24%) 7,843 (28%) 13,675 (23%) 12,748 (27%)
Physical Disability** 6,099 (17%) 4,391 (16%) 9,232 (16%) 6,756 (13%)
Developmental Disability** 3,089 (8%) 1,764 (6%) 4,370 (8%) 2,530 (5%)
Domestic Violence Experience** 12,876 (35%) 9,088 (32%) 20,265 (36%) 13,374 (25%)
Homeless Due to Fleeing Domestic Violence** 1,870 (5%) 1,913 (7%) 3,940 (7%) 3,076 (6%)

* Accumulated numbers for all Service Planning Areas. These do not include numbers for Pasadena, Glendale and Long Beach.
** Percentage is prevalence in homeless population age 18 and over.
*** All numbers are county-wide except for Physical Disability, Developmental Disability, and Domestic Violence Experience. These numbers do not include Pasadena, Glendale and Long Beach.



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


The 2019 homeless count in Los Angeles County found 16,528 people living in motor vehicles (including recreational vehicles or campers). In 2018, 15,748 were counted.


Source: Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority

Also see: Shelter Partnership, Inc


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.

L.A. Video

L.A. Videos

Countering Myths of Homelessness

Countering Myths of Homelessness

We can only hope to end homelessness if we learn the truth about homelessness.